What is it with humans and discrimination? It has become an innate need for humans to segregate themselves from others on the basis of religion, caste, colour, gender or sexuality. I am going to talk about the bifurcation between religions in our so called “secular” country. The gruesome truth about discrimination in religion is that it can become lethal, brutal and inhuman when people lose their sense of right and wrong. It shows humans at their very worst, the fact that humans when clouded by a fit of rage forget humanity altogether. “Fit of Rage” is driven by their sanctimonious ideologies which gives them the authority to punish those who have committed sins according to them. The ramifications of such an event can be catastrophic as can be seen in Gujarat riots, Mumbai riots, the recent Muzzafarnagar riots and various terrorist attacks. I just find it hard to comprehend the reasoning behind violence in the name of religion, caste, color or sexuality. How can people be so juvenile and so idiosyncratic that they can’t see the obvious truth, the fact that they are killing someone just because she/he doesn’t belong to some particular religion? This is utter hypocrisy, venting off your angst and taking vengeance under the pretext of religion when the same religion abhors and detests the very idea of violence
This was my ideology because my cognitive abilities failed to comprehend the reason behind such a vile act. These questions always perturbed me and finally I did realize that every action has a cause. Everything has a reason behind it, it is easy to make harsh comments and disparage people. There are many aspects and more than one perspective to a situation and most of the time our judgment is influenced by class bias. But there is a lot to people than what we see of them. Until and unless you have gone through the same situation you cannot make judgment on people. Those who commit such crimes have some things in common like poverty which results in vulnerability, gullibility and a horrific past as a result of which they get used like puppets. They are instigated by some of the despotic people who have some hidden agenda behind such wrong doings. When somebody is desperately trying to make the ends meet but is still unable to feed and educate his family then fake promises for a better, brighter and a prosperous future bereaves them of rationality. That’s what leads them on the path of destruction but what they do not realize is that in the process they are destroying their lives as well, because they are just a pawn and in the large scheme of things they do not stand anywhere. They are the ones who face the charges and repent their actions but by the time the reality hits them it is ineffectual. When my grandmother tells me about her past experiences during the partition I can still see sadness, horror and a sense of loss of her native land in her eyes even after 64 years. As she has seen the inhuman acts of violence, lust, anger and vengeance at their worst, she talks about “the other religion” with a caustic and a sarcastic tone. So, as far as I can see religion related violence forms a vicious cycle.
The important issue that we must address is what and who will stop these riots and wars? Each individual must forget the past and rise above these petty matters and should put a full stop to it. This can happen only when people can understand the value and the importance of peace, of love and of being united. But in order for that to take place the politicians of this so called “secular” country need to stop dividing people on the basis of religion. Canvassing votes on the basis of religion needs to be ceased. The politicians should rather bank votes on development and the social evils that ails our society rather than appealing to people’s emotions and their religion. In India we see a lot of caste based politics as well. This is done by those who have not and will not do anything for the country and as a result they don’t have any valid reason that they can give to the people and this seems like an easier deal for them. The only solution in fact not a solution but something that might change people’s thinking on this contentious and important issue would be education. By education I don’t mean learning how to read and write but if we can ensure quality education that can really inculcate the right kind of values, the right kind of thinking in children then we can hope for a more peaceful and united India in the future.
Education inculcates a sense of right and wrong and makes us less vulnerable and gives an ability to judge others effectively and hence prevents others from manipulating us. Besides, if everyone gets quality education then they will be able to get desired jobs. Lack of resources is also one of the factors which instigates, provokes and forces people to fall to such inhuman levels. But one of the most pertinent factors is economic prosperity. Developed countries generally have a low percentage of ethnic or caste related violence. Countries in Africa and Asia witness civil wars and riots more frequently. Economically well off people are less likely to get into violence. Economic prosperity comes hand in hand with unity and proper implementation of various schemes launched by the government. Proper implementation of non-discriminatory policies and laws by the government is the need of the hour. Many a times victims of violence belonging to lower caste or minority experience exploitation at the hands of the very people who should protect them. The government on its behalf must ensure zero tolerance policy on non-discrimination because such acts in their nascent stage might be of small magnitude but might turn into a giant if not tackled on time. This is exactly what happened in the Muzzafarnagar case where it started from a miniscule issue and because of government and police negligence it got out of control and led to widespread violence, pugnacity and displacement. The victims, majority of which were from the Muslim community lost their property, their land, their savings, their loved ones and trust over the Hindu or the Jat community. The saddest and most heartbreaking truth in such riots is that innocent people are killed for something that someone else from their community has done. Jingoism must be stopped there and then and had the government of Uttar Pradesh taken right measures at the opportune moment many lives could have been saved, many more would not be where they stand now- dependent on government for food, security and shelter. Forget about educating their children for them it is a challenge to survive in such unhygienic and difficult circumstances. Sseeing the lackadaisical and cavalier attitude of the UP government all the victims are getting sucked deeper and deeper in the vortex of poverty and hunger.