Friday, June 11, 2010

What Can We Do About Communalism or Racism?

Let me start off by clarifying how most Indians interpret the word, 'secular'. It isn't seen as someone who is non-religious or atheist. Secular Indians are those who share human values with others across cultures - the ones who are comfortable with others from different cultures, their religions, languages or habits.

Many of us call ourselves Indian first and then Parsi, Christian, Hindu or Muslim. Yet others like it the other way around. As long as we are proud of being Indian and we are proud of being part of our own community why quibble over what should come first?

The fact is, we aren't one single homogenous entity. That, to me, would be boring. Life is interesting because we are different. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, our folklore, our folk dances and the languages and dialects we converse in, are diverse. Most of us say, viva la difference. We enjoy the variety but there’s a handful in every community (the world over) who is extremely suspicious of those differences.

Why is secularism or a different way of doing things such a threat to some people and not to others?

Why, if people who feel threatened by others are in the minority, does their opinion hold so much sway?

What can secular Indians do about this attitude of suspicion and scorn? There are a lot of suggestions, some very good, about what we can do to stem an intolerant communal mindset towards anyone who is different.

But before we implement any of those, we - the secular minded, need to o-r-g-a-n-i-s-e.

The communal minded certainly have, under the umbrella of a communal minded politician. They might be in the minority but they are effective because they have.

Who would be more effective in combating the supreme power our communal minded politicians seem to enjoy? A billion lone individuals or a billion-strong, organised force?


If you'd like to know a great and uplifting way to organise in a SAFE environment, here's a suggestion that might surprise.

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