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Why intolerance is increasing in India?

After entering the 69th Year of Independence, we Indians are still unable to adapt the Article 1 of our constitution which says “Bharat as a Union of states” and the principles of preamble (Equality, fraternity etc). Racist, harsh and discriminatory attitude towards the dressing, physical features, complexion is rampant in our society. Is this the future “that our forefathers thought of”? We are progressing superficially but nothing has changed much, Dalit are discriminated even today in some parts of the country. They are not allowed to enter in kitchen or temples. There is no social acceptance for down trodden people. On the other side in urban areas, Dalit youth needs reservations and they are fighting for it but they do not accept merits. They are seeking advantage in studies as well as jobs; however refuse to come in main stream through competition. We call ourselves citizens of independent nation; however lack the mental growth and human progress. I am upset with political leaders who are making their bread on ‘Dalit’ politics. They are just bothered about themselves and not about their community. They are doing politics in community’s name. If leaders like Mayawati, Ramvilas Paswan and Ramdas Athawale are following footsteps of Babasaheb Ambedkar then today this community would have been liberated and prospered in many ways.

Recently, killings of two Dalit’s children in Faridabad have shocked the world. Caste system and religious intolerance has become day to day politics in India. Earlier, angry locals blocked the Delhi-Agra highway demanding immediate action. Two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad’s Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, suffered serious burns and is battling for life in a Delhi hospital. Their father Jitender, 31, also received injuries while trying to save them. Why such issues always occur before elections? No one knows, however common people get killed and politicians bake their bread on it. This is just a horrible thing, politicians are blaming each other. Words like Dalits, Brahmins, Muslims, Christians have become great selling topics for news channels to grab TRP and this is the reason why the politicians sell their fake caste ideologies. You have always seen politicians with the criminal background but no system has stopped them to reach parliament or assemblies. That’s another reason why crime is increasing. These crimes are happening because population of a 125 crores is being controlled by some 20000 odd politicians. We cannot call it democracy. The day India or rather the responsible citizens of India stand up against corrupt and sick minded politicians who have caste and religious ideologies; only then we can call ourselves as a civilised society.

Even the most tolerant person can never achieve open minded thought because, in a cognitive sense, each new experience must be amalgamated with the previous before it can be processed. Based on what has been learned about prejudice so far, human beings have a great deal to learn about each other before prejudice can be reduced. Even in the earliest civilizations, people felt that guilt and misfortune could be shifted from one man to another, known in modern times as projection. Discrimination helps to boost the self-esteem. One guaranteed way to maintain high self-esteem is by having someone to look down on.

Stereotyped characteristics are, in some cases, a displacement of personality traits which are undesirable. Guilt, fear, anger, anxiety and greed are some of the most prominent, but not the only emotions for which prejudice serves a functional significance.

The cognitive, social and humanistic perspectives rely heavily on each other to provide a full explanation of prejudice. Woman’s plight is even more pathetic, verbal abuse as well as accusing them of illegal and immoral trade exposed the mindset of our Nation. Only people who have experienced the horror and the brutalising effects of the caste system will understand what it means to be a Dalit in Indian society. A Dalit is considered to be untouchable, invisible, and unapproachable and even, in a way, unthinkable.

Dalits have been suffering, humiliated, martyr from the last two thousand years. Does the world know about this man-made tragedy? Even though untouchability was officially abolished by law in the 1950’s in India, the Dalits still experience the agony of untouchability very deeply in all walks of life: social, economic and political. For Dalit children, the future does not look much better. Fifteen million children are bonded labourers, working in slave-like conditions, and the majority of them are Dalits. Thousands of girls are forced into prostitution even before reaching the age of puberty. Devadasis, literally meaning “female servants of god,” usually belong to the Dalit community. These girls are pretty and have caught the fancy of a higher caste man. Once dedicated as a devadasi, the girl can become the playmate of such a man. Afterwards, she is cast aside and auctioned off to an urban brothel. As a devadasi, she is unable to marry forever.

Dalit women also suffer another form of abuse. They are often raped as a form of retaliation. Sexual abuse and other forms of violence against women are used by landowners to inflict political “lessons”, and crush dissent within the Dalit community. It’s really shameful for all of us that such activities are taking place in our country. After independence everybody was scared that how a country like India can remain united out of its diversity in all walks of life i.e. caste, tribe, religion etc. No religion or nation preaches intolerance or endorses the view to look down upon anyone. If we feel that looking down on someone who is not from our background is justified and flaunts our nationalistic attitude, then we must realize that it is time we review our understanding. A prejudice is a belief about a group of people based on their religion, ethnicity, race, gender, handicap or any other factors. It can be positive or negative, but as a prejudice involves passing judgement on a large group of people regardless of their individual qualities, it is considered to be unfair. Prejudice which causes unfair treatment is called discrimination, and in many cases discrimination can be illegal. Prejudices and discrimination can result in serious problems for both the people that hold them and the people that they are prejudiced against. Most of the people who discriminate against a group do so because of upbringing or societal reasons. However, some prejudices are due to a bad experience with a certain person or a traumatic life event that has caused an individual to stereotype an entire group. Many prejudices develop from fears or misunderstanding of a certain culture or race.

Conflict of interest in job and education are very unfortunate. It may start trust deficit among the Indian. Are we becoming a nation of bigoted folks? By committing hate crimes against the people of the north eastern states, we are sowing the seeds of dissension. If the police don’t apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice, we are putting our pluralistic structure of our country, of which we are so proud, in real danger.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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