Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Return of the Xenophobic

When i wrote last week about the Pak Hindus asking for asylum, the North East storm wasnt on our heads. Now it is, and i had to take away that post because honestly, the head hangs in shame. Pakistan is an Islamic nation, by definition. What is the defence of the Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic of India, which just celebrated its 66th birthday, for:
  • The way its women are treated?
  • The fact that one third of the world's visually challenged population is in this country, and still, we do not have signages in public places?
  • What is happening, and has been happening to people from the North East?
  • The Assam fiasco? where the CM doesnt even make a proper bledy statement, much less do anything?
  • Multiple other instances of intolerance that we face everyday, and dont say anything?
When i thought some more about all of this, the conclusion was that its not just the state, the establishment or the "system" that is to blame. it is us - WE, THE PEOPLE.

We, who dont cringe at chinki or Sardarji jokes - giving them the crucial social acceptance that they need.

We, who dont think twice before attending marriages where dowry has been exchanged.

We, who love to follow "indian tradition" except the age old tradition of keeping a part of your earnings for a good cause.

We, who are so accustomed to AC environments and lack of queues that we dont go out to vote - not even once in 5 years - for the Lok Sabha elections.

We, who, instead of standing up and walking out, stay in that room and nod silently when a xenophobic discussion is raised in that room. We may or may not agree with the speaker, but the fact that something inside us is nodding to a xenophobic statement should be enough to inspire introspection.

With the whole bunch of We Vs They messages all around us, not succumbing to a caste/ religion/ gender/ state bias is a daily battle. but its a battle worth fighting - even with ourselves, on a daily basis.


Onkar said...

Very true. We need to introspect.

Pinku said...

U are so very right.

Being mute for the sake of being socially likable is no longer an option. we have to speak up or act everything a funny/derogatory remark is made that impacts communal harmony.

even a joke should be intolerable.