Recently, I, Rishikesh Pande (not Pandey), talked about a ‘devil’ in our society on my blog post “The name’s ‘Pande’ not ‘Pandey” – a devil called “Racism”. This post is about possible methods to curb the ‘devil’. But before we move ahead, let’s go through the dictionary to truly understand what the word ‘racism’ means.
Racism, is a belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes. It also means a belief that one race is superior to all others. A belief that lower castes are filthy, or a belief that a white man is superior to a black man are some of the examples of racism. In other words, racism is discrimination against a race. But there is no consensus among the experts on the definition of racism. For example, there is no consensus on whether to include forms of discrimination that are unintentional, such as making assumptions about preferences or abilities of others based on racial stereotypes.
Now that we have understood the meaning of the word along with some examples, we should talk about “why” is that we need to stop being a racist. We should stop racism because it is not fair to treat any human being differently because of their race or gender. Racism only hurts people and it usually creates more hate and anger. If you do not like the color of a person’s skin, that is your opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but sometimes it is best to keep it to yourself. If someone colouredhis hair ‘differently’, it’s their business not yours.
So what if we Indians are racists? Can’t we deal with this later? What’s the hurry? No. We need to do this now. This issue is too serious to procrastinate. This issue needs our immediate attention. It’s time we deal with it. It’s now or never!
1 – Educate our children:
For children, who are too young to understand the ‘devil’ in our society, we need to start educating them about the diversity of cultures in India. We need to provide them books about various cultures. We need to read them bedtime stories, stories which are staged or are about various cultures in India. This way, our children will become comfortable with different cultures. This is the only way to uproot the ‘devil’ in our society at level zero.
2 – Cross culture Programs:
Unlike our children, adults have developed cognitive thinking ability. They have either made up their minds or are about to about different cultures. Conducting cross cultural programs, possibly with the help of the Ministry of Tourism will help in destroying the prejudices of our society. These cross cultural programs might include exhibitions, performing arts, book fairs etc. These programs can be conducted in rural as well as urban parts of our country.
3 – Exchange programs:
As of 22 June, 2012, the total number of universities in India is 567 spread across 28 states in India. If we can start “mandatory” student exchange programs among these 567 universities, I think we can easily make students comfortable with diversity of India. Spending some time in the Northeast or south or any other part of our country might help students understand different cultures closely. In addition to that, students will get a chance to communicate with people from different cultures.
4 – Learn contributions of other races:
Learn about the major contributions people from different racial groups have made to the development of our country. Did you know that the constitution, we follow today was written by B. R. Ambedkar, a so-called “untouchable”?
Racism is that ‘devil’ in our society which stayed hidden until now. But now that it’s popped up, we need to give our full attention to solving it. I agree with the argument that it’ll take time. And that’s exactly why we need to start working on it from now onwards, from this very moment. Not tomorrow. Not few hours from now. It should be dealt with now, from this instance.
It’s time we develop a – Look Northeast policy – develop friendly relationship with the North East. I know it’ll be difficult. Eradicating polio from India was difficult too. But we waged a war on polio and years later we won. It’s time we wage a war on racism, and the victory shall be ours.
Say No To Racism!
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
Written by Rishikesh G. Pande, MIT.
Author of the Blog – World Of Words