Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Perils Of Prejudice


The other day on you tube, I saw this channel made exclusively by Queen Rania of Jordan. Its where one can see her interviews, her opinions and thoughts on the current obstacles faced by the Arab nation, when it comes to gender discrimination, religious fanaticism and the focus on educating the poor children.
Now, what struck me profoundly, is that the Jordanian Queen, sought to reach out to the people in a very down to earth manner, where she answered questions by the viewers of her channel, with regard to clearing stereotypes about the Arabs and Islam.
Not many leaders of the current so called major nations, reach out to the public to clear misunderstandings, and enlighten the masses about the correct interpretation of their faith, or the developmental hurdles faced by their community.
Basically she has focussed on drawing attention to the problems faced by the Arab people, especially the women. Pretty much like a cultural ambassador.
The response she has received as a consequence is rather overwhelming.
For anybody would love the fact, when a particular world leader reaches out to the masses and conveys the honest truth about the hurdles faced by them, and at the same time giving out ideas so as to how one can rectify the problems that plague society.

In comparison, I reflected back on the major issues that plague our own society. Not even once has any so called Political leader, ever come forward to ease any social pains, and sought to clear prejudices that plague Indian society.
On the absolute contrary, all they have done, is instil hatred, violence and discrimination between one community and the other.
Prejudice is one of the root causes of any social disharmony. Its moreover easy to instil in an impressionable (not to mention ignorant) mind, and has rather violent consequences.
Throughout history, there have always been fights and skirmishes between one strata of society against the other.
But the advantage of being a human being is to figure out a way to end disharmony and cultivate tolerance.
Any fool can start a squabble. Aggression is the most basic types of genetic programming that exists within the most simplest of species like insects.
Nevertheless, it takes intelligence and wisdom to stop a squabble. Something that can only be possible by the human species. And something that a majority of us have long since forgotten to do.
I doubt that there exists any longer, a line of demarcation that separates us from the remainder of the animal kingdom.

Getting, back to the topic, there can be no doubt in the fact that whatever community we today belong to, somewhere down the line our forefathers have suffered discrimination and persecution from some other community.
The thing is, times have changed. Do you still wish to keep the flames of vengeance alive, or do you take the first step, and let bygones be bygones.
Would you prefer to let things go? Or would you prefer to plant the seeds of prejudice into the next generation?
Its ironic that most of us keep fighting a war that long since ended. We are taught to hate and despise another community, just because our forefathers at one point of time suffered at their hands. And so, you must take up arms against them to retain your communities"honour". In spite of the fact that the community in question is now settled peacefully beside your very own home, and for as long as you remember, never bothered you personally in any way.
Violence always be gets violence.
There can never be an end to constant bickering and hatred.
The problem is, knowing this all to well, our so called leaders have the ability to end the years of prejudice, if they manage to strike the right cord with the public.

But they wont!
Its a difficult thing actually, to convince the masses to let go of old prejudices and live in harmony with your neighbours. Its a personal risk actually, for not many at first will want to do so. And if you tick off a certain community, there can be the obvious risk losing precious votes.
So therefore they choose to do just the opposite. Instigate one community against the other so that one may be well assured of the votes from at least one section of society. In short grant them blood when they want blood. And as a consequence keep the masses busy, burning the homes and families of the "evil" community, while the "leader" can be assured of another term in office.

Queen Rania is lucky that she is an absolute monarch and doesn't have to deal with the nonsense handed out by sleazy politicians who may thwart every honest move, to make society a better place. By the way, Jordan is the only other Middle eastern country apart from Egypt to have made peace with Israel.
Too bad not every nation is gifted to have righteous leaders.
Somehow, the "unity in diversity" aspect of India is turning out to be the biggest sham.
I suppose most of our problems seem to be arising from diversity.
Its turning out to be one of the greatest disadvantages that mar the progress of our country. Not to mention the pseudo democracy that chooses to instigate the masses with their hate filled speeches.
Improper schooling and parenting are to blame as well. As a child, most of us, like Queen Rania stated, are told what to think rather than how to think. And as a consequence begin to inculcate prejudice from a young age.
All in all, in my opinion,
Giving people the right to think for themselves if the greatest gift any political or religious leader can give.
Any other means of rallying the masses through inflammatory remarks is nothing short of human rights abuse.
Times have changed, as far as possible things go, its better to sow the seeds of harmony, instead of being brainwashed by corrupt politicians and biased religious leaders.
The old wars are over, its not our battle any more.
No human being must be entrusted with carrying on the hatred of his/her parents and forefathers towards any particular community.
It has nothing to do with the world we live and breath in today.
For the only key to social harmony is to give up prejudice.
So that the future generations can live in peace alongside one another.

Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/a77ebny, http://www.flickr.com/photos/integraldan, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramananv.

19 comments:

rads said...

True we are prejudiced by the sorroundings and people around us...like you said our thought process is fine-tuned from the age we start thinking...and unity in diversity is a fake statement that we are all made to believe by so-called politicians...in fact there's nothing like that...loved the cartoon on triangle and circle..its soo true...

Shadowthorne said...

Pride and Prejudice. A book I have seen but never read because I hate romantics. Prejudiced me? Yes.

I always speak against local films because I hate them at automatic. (Some are good, but most are trash). Prejudiced me? Yes.

I hate some, ok, several students because their inability to obey. I even slashed marks mercilessly to make them feel the pain for the future. Another prejudice? Yes.

The other male teachers are envious of me because I am effortlessly good with students. I am also more good looking (ha ha ha) and they also find me odd in many ways. Prejudice? Yes.

So life is full of prejudices. The circle of violence we witnessed is a way to show how feral humans can be when facing something they don't like. Most of us don't like hating so much. Yet hate we must do because it was ingrained in our souls.

Only those who has a higher level of thinking would realize that anger and hate cannot build a thousand years of civilization.

Genghis Khan raided almost half of the world because of the hate he experienced against his people (I read his autobiography). That was prejudice being successful. :)

ramya said...

Indians are prejudiced. Very true.
People here are gender bias, Religion-biased and caste-ists. As a matter of fact, I am one big-time caste biased girl. And, I don't know why, but I am pretty proud to be one!
One very horrible instance of this was the Riots against the Christian nuns in Orissa. One of my friend's cousin was killed in this incident. It is was terrifying to see women in service of God being molested by morons just because of the religion they followed.
Another incident was by the monkeys of Sri Rama Sena who in name of Lord rama molested girls because they were independent enough to go to a pub. India will never change. Somewhere down the line, every man thinks that men are superior to women!

varunshridhar said...

Vyas, the world would be a terrible place to live in without these issues. First - because newer complications would replace these, which we have no past experience of and can't even think how it will be. Second, economies would tumble, if you know what I mean.
for example, its not a matter of arms in warfare anymore, it's only the post-cold war style war with threats to the country's supply and economy.

It sure is a nice gesture by Queen Rania. I've always liked her, for her down to earth presence and, very honestly, I quite like her in terms of looks as well! oops..hope i dn get caught!

anyways, keep it coming mate!

brocasarea said...

yeah...our life depends a lot on our surroundings..like in my native mangalore people are so fundamentalists every alternate day a communal violence keeps occurring..!!...so sad!!

P.S-saw the election results today??

Vyazz said...

@Rads: yup, its true all right. Its actually stupid how narrow minded people are getting of late. Worse part is, that they cannot even think for themselves, and get brainwashed by corrupt leaders.

Vyazz said...

@Shadowthrone: We all have certain prejudices in life, and nobody's perfect!! Even I detest certain things!! Its true what you said, that hate is inculcated within us since early on, and truly a wise man can see beyond petty differences, and unite the masses.
Like Alexander for instance.

Vyazz said...

@Ramya: Yeah....gender bias is one of the things that plague India. But I suppose the main root cause is poverty, ignorance and lack of proper education that turns men into goons!
But what disgusts me more, is the way people commit their crimes in the name of Faith!! That really gets my goat!

Vyazz said...

@Varun: Hmmm...so you mean that newer complications arise after sorting out older ones. Perhaps yes.
But then again I believe all problems have a certain root cause. And if we manage to dig in deep we may succeed in eliminating future dissent and discord!!
Its all about having about having a bit of hope, eh?

Vyazz said...

@brocasarea: True, I dont suppose its gonna be easy to root out fundamentalism.
And yeah, saw the election results. Cant say I'm very surprised, I suppose no one would have wanted BJP because of the probable communal picture they painted!!

Kadambari said...

Queen Rania has always been a 'people's Queen'. It's so disappointing to see no empathy of that sort in our country. While they distribute money and sell subsidized food grains before elections, it reverts to the usual neglected state, soon after.

et said...

It's truly a prejudiced society out there. And being brought up in such a society, i do agree that in have inhibited some prejuditions as well. We can start to drop it from the next moment, but it's a fact that the process is gonna be real slow. It takes pretty much time for people to get rid off what's injected into their brains.

In spite of all, lets hope for a better tomorrow! :)

Anjana R said...

came here from Varun's blog.

Its good Rania is doing this. Having lived in a so-called 'modern' arab nation myself, i feel Jordan is relatively more modern than say, Saudi. But her views regarding Israel and Palestine are still quite pro-arab.
And like you have clearly said, she is an absolute monarch.
Plus she has a helluva lot of money.

She's quite hot though (a very platonic observation let me add :))

Mukund said...

Heres what came to my mind after I read your post... If we continue to have the same issues that we used to have say 30-40 years or may be even more then are we really progressing??... it is time we move on to bigger issues and better things and as more intellectual people would say we have to think of the "greater good"...
First time on your blog, I hope I didn't say too much...

Vyazz said...

@Kadambari: As far as the elections go, we all know the politician's drill.
Its too bad we lack leaders with foresight who actually give a damn for the masses.

Vyazz said...

@et: Yup...always good to hope for a better future!! Besides, at least realising that one is needlessly prejudiced is the first step. :)

Vyazz said...

@Anjana: Truth be told, I was a trifle surprised about the way Queen Rania spoke. I always have this stereotyped version of Arabs being prejudiced and narrow minded. But her interview came as a pleasant surprise.
And yeah...she is quite good looking. Totally agree with u on that one. :D

Vyazz said...

@Mukund: Welcome to my blog! I guess as far as moving on to bigger issues goes, I just feel that by shoving things under the carpet and hoping to move on, will pretty much lead to discord in the near future.
Like how the majority of Indians (once even myself), pretend as though poverty and prejudice do not exist in our societies.
Most of us as a consequence live in a constant state of denial.
Nevertheless, I appreciate your opinion.
To each of his own, I always say!

Aarti Raman said...

vyaziiiiiii....well for starters its a good initiative taken by Queen Rania of Jordan!!really impressive and it really takes a lot of guts especially for a middle eastern woman to be so vocal about her views:)now, when it comes to being prejudiced..its not only the indian society but the world in general is prejudiced!!i do agree with you on the part where indian politicians manipulate communities inorder to receive votes..if one wants to have a world without prejudices;its going to take centuries for that change to happenand lets say that the change starts at the grassroot level!!and its not only the world leaders or people belonging to the royale,are responsible for bringing in a change but every individual born on this planet should take up responsibilty is bringing this change to make this world free of prejudices!!!!