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.