Discrimination against and ill treatment of any community should not be allowed or encouraged in any manner.
While it’s important to have an open dialogue on incidents of discrimination and ill treatment, our dialogues need improvisation for them to advance to effective decisions. Communities in India have been feeling and experiencing discrimination and ill treatment. However, the feeling has been constant and is lately getting more intense due to the recent social and political events. Therefore, outspoken members of different communities have been actively advocating for their beliefs in relevance to the subject. But, it’s only leading to further division and unrest instead of unity and peace.
(Disclaimer: The below mentioned has been repeated time and again by different individuals. It only implies that we need to be reminded of it time and again, which is okay. But, once we become aware of it again, we must stick with it as it goes on to define how mature we are as a country.)
Our conversations as of now are focused on “us v/s them” mindset. While the mindset does not absolutely need to be discarded, it certainly needs to be well placed; as of now, it’s misplaced.
The conversation needs to get from how one community is mistreating the other to how a category of people from one community are mistreating a category of people from another community. It’s important to acknowledge that the members of a certain community which are ill treating members of another community do not generally treat members of their community well either except strictly for personal gains.
In other words, if we are going to have an “us v/s them” conversation, we need to define who falls under “us” and who falls under “them”. So, when a person says that Muslims are discriminated against and ill treated by Hindus or vice versa, it’s important that we avoid putting an entire community under one blanket and target specific people without labeling them as per the community they belong to. We need to talk about how the powerful treats the less powerful/powerless. We need to talk about how specific people are having difficulty in accepting diversity in the society and are mishandling their emotions and authority instead of suggesting that these people are but representatives of their communities and their actions speak for their communities. We need to talk about how a specific person or specific people are influencing a community/communities for their personal gains. The only way any characteristic can be attributed to an entire community is when a majority of its population is embodying such characteristics and sometimes it’s even important to understand why a greater population of a community may be behaving a certain way and address it empathetically, logically and compassionately.
More importantly, we need to understand that when one targets an entire community, one also offends an entire community and people move from offense to defense too quickly. Is that ever really necessary? Instead, it’s important for a community to disassociate itself from people who discriminate against and ill treat members of other communities. If a community cannot do so by itself, other communities should extend help in that regard instead of making them associate themselves with such people especially when such people will seek support of their community by suggesting how the attack is but on the entire community. A better approach, of course, would be when such people who discriminate against and ill treat are not attacked at all and instead helped to gain a better perspective; most of such people will stop discriminating against and ill treating others the very moment they aren’t rewarded for it but instead are at a loss because of it.
Otherwise, we are basically engaging in a tug of war between communities and primarily focusing on a shift of power. One may argue that a shift of power is necessary but then the entire exercise becomes politically motivated. If a shift of power is necessary, it needs to be distributed equally instead of from one category of people from a community to another category of people from another community.
The aforementioned has been repeated time and again by different individuals. It only implies that we need to be reminded of it time and again, which is okay. But, once we become aware of it again, we must stick with it as it goes on to define how mature we are as a country.