DISCRIMINATION: A CLOAKED REALITY
The mere fact that many men and women had to lose their lives to make people realize that racism based on caste, colour, gender exists sends shivers down my spine. Be it George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rohith Vemula, Hathras case victim, and many others.
If people perceive democracy as a license to do every unfair thing, democracy is a myth. It has been 73 years since India was declared independent. But pondering upon it, are the people in India independent? In India, people are unknowingly casteist when they use words that are casteist in nature because of a lack of knowledge, conditioning, and the environment at home. It's true when they say 'Change begins at home' because unless we end the everyday classism and casteism that we have normalized by way of having different utensils at home for domestic workers, making them sit on the floors, giving the guards and workers stale food, assuming people's class and caste-based on their dialect, choosing friends only after knowing their background, classism and casteism won't end.
Article 46 of the Constitution says, “The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.” Does this hold any value to the people who continue to oppress them? They are tied to societal fetters. One of the many ways in which they make the Dalits question their reality and social outlook is gaslighting. There has been a plethora of instances where the Dalits have been treated unlike humans, denied opportunities, and have been insulted for belonging to a particular caste. The case of Rohith Vemula is no new news to anyone. “My birth is a fatal accident”, is what the Dalit student pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Hyderabad wrote in his suicide note. Elitism has always had a refuge in the lives of Indians. People in India are also Islamophobic and indulge in activities that only spread hate and more oppression among communities. Muslims are not respected and have to face anti-muslim remarks and hate speeches. Not only this, discrimination based on colour and gender are also quite prevalent. Prejudicial attitudes towards the sex of an individual have existed for generations. Most cases have women at the receiving end of such attitudes. There still exists the practice of killing a girl child as soon as she takes birth, putting a stop to the education of a girl child, lack of opportunities, casual sexism, etc. Male supremacy has always held women down.
Oppression has been going on for decades and is now a reality. Change has to take place at the ground level to ensure that discrimination does not lead to violence and eventually to cold-blooded murder. It's time we educate ourselves, start introspecting, and start the change from us to create a non-biased society that will not preserve discrimination, inequalities, and violent atrocities.
Everyone deserves the taste of liberalism.
Vivekanand Business School