Stereotypes, and societal divisions

Greater Kashmir

When moral standards of a society take a dip, there are only two options. Introspection, and correction. If a society fails here, it ends up hanging the head in shame. Despite having intellectuals and scholars, knowledge and resources, we, as a society, exhibit some pathetic attitudes. Even if it seem surprising to any, the fact is that some very ugly practices prevail in our society. One such practice is to demonise ourselves collectively.  The colonial hangover has persisted. From racist remarks to being casteist, from making a mockery of future leaders to generalizing communities, we have been unjust to our own lot in many ways. Time and again we have seen social media full of such stuff. From labelling elite in a particular way, and downgrading some with slurs, we have marginalized several sections of our society. We have devastated lives of many families. We have not even spared our friends, our classmates, when it came to the binary of city and village. Being a student of prestigious national institutes in my +2, having a vast majority of my friends from the city, I have seen people stooping so low, that even close friends were mocked for being “students of no prestigious institution”. I have had a first-hand experience of how many students faced remarks like being from a village. “Tche chuk gaamuk”, derogatory lines like these are thrown at others. This is a menace which has been there for generations and is now moving to next level due to the ever-increasing use of social media. The social media has menaced many minds. The slurs of being from a backward area, from a backward cast, from a poor family, mar our humanity. We as humans have failed to realise the importance of humans.

This menace inflicts every sect of the society. It starts from Western and Eastern and ends at City and Town. This leads to a kind of inferiority complex in the targeted sections of the society giving birth to a depressed generation. We’re currently in a viral pandemic, but we have been neglecting the psychological pandemic killing people in its own way. There can never be justification for this behaviour that our society has time and again resorted to. When it came to making fun and jokes of our future nation builders, a noble profession, we have enjoyed it on social media platforms but in real life those people work hard to save lives, whether they are from an elite institution or not. We have no right to make a mockery of anyone. The stereotyping of people on the basis of perception, and superiority complex has smashed all ethics down to the ground. Castes in our society have been historically applies as tool for  social stratification, but  our stereotyping has fuelled a divide among people. To this day there are people in our society who are being treated as less than humans. There are several communities that have been the worst hit. They have been time and again denied the right to live as equals among us. We need to understand that as a society we have a lot of shortcomings and we need to act on them now, before it’s too late. We use derogatory terms that have plagued our society for so long in such a casual manner that for a moment it all seems normal. There are people among us who suffer daily not just because of the situation that surrounds us all but also because of our attitude towards them. We need to understand as long as there are such divisions in our society  we won’t ever be able to liberate ourselves ourselves.

Discrimination, Casteism and Racism are the three heads of an evil. We need to take it all head on.