This is the sad truth that we are guilty of racism: not always but distressingly often. It’s shameful. Yet, we are blissfully unaware and unconcerned.
“Racism is a mindset of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage — the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry” — Ayn Rand.
Traditionally we’re not racists. We are continuing with the same old British education system and the history taught to us by the British. Their education system was divisive and most suited for continuity of their imperialism.
“Many hundreds of years before the coming of the English, the nations of India had been a collection of wealthy and highly civilised people, possessed of great language with an elaborate code of laws and social regulations, with exquisite artistic taste in architecture and decoration, producing conceptions which have greatly influenced the development of the most progressive races of the West.” – Henry Mayer Hyndman, 20th Century British politician.
Since independence, there has been no serious effort to create the Indian-ness. Sadly, the vote-bank politics is widening the social divide.
India is endowed with the beauty of diversity in languages, geography, features, habits, cultures, religions, ethnicity and origins. We were not like this before. We accepted everybody with open hands. We lost that tolerance, that sense of acceptance. Before British, whosoever came to India became a part of it, from Shaka, Hun, Pathan, Mughal, Parsis, et al. They settled in India. With them they brought here their culture, tradition, foods, and knowledge. India was the great mixing, melting pot. There was social cohesion. Rabindranath Tagore developed the idea of Indian civilisation as a composite culture
“Shaka, Hun dal Pathan, Mughal ek dehe holo leen…”
It now seems that great pot is broken. It’s the time again for rebuilding the social cohesion. We must teach our children the history of India, cultures of India, festivals of India and accepting the diversity. Tolerance is our strength and not weakness. Then only we can learn to respect India and its Indian-ness – the rich diversity, the greatness that is only peculiar to India. Indian-ness is an idea, a thought, a mindset that accepts and respects the diversity that makes us special, that makes us believe and understand that we are only Indians. I again quote Rabindranath Tagore and we should strive to realise his dream of our great country –
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action …
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.