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Aren’t we all the same?


Aren’t we all the same?

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”- Desmond Tutu

With so much being said and done in recent times; be it the George Floyd case or poor Nawaraj, our actions have constantly been strangled with our own perceptions and beliefs. We have created a mess of humanity and have to be responsible for what shouldn’t have happened despite our efforts on equality and humanity.

The question of whether we are prejudiced at birth or we have yet a chance to reform needs to be addressed, far more urgently than all those protests and support rallies for the departed souls. Let’s admit our faults now; the lost ones are lost already. May their souls now get the justice they deserved! This situation is a vicious circle that doesn’t see any end as the root of the problem lies not in the outrage or hate expressed in an extreme manner, but in the mentality of people.

This issue of discrimination is not new, and has been prevailing in all societies, be it in the United States of America or a country like Nepal which is recognized primarily for its cultural diversity and tolerance. We have been blind followers of our culture and the traditions or beliefs we have been guarding in our so called secular mindset, is not free from the wrong doings. Though unconsciously, we have constantly been educated on favoring racism. This is the bitter truth, whether we accept it or not. We love to be called humanitarians or an anti-racist and are often seen forefront in the rallies and protests to fight for those victimized. But contradictory to what our actions are, there is an unconscious evil that we aren’t free of the racist mindset we had been nurturing from our very childhood.       

Starting from the very beginning of life, we were taught that being fair was being more beautiful. Just try to recollect what has been in our mindsets when we treated a fairer baby more than the darker one. Let us now reassemble our memories on how we favored those beauty creams just to look a little fairer. Let me give you an instance I myself faced recently.

A 10 year old asked me about how people having different colors get on earth? Was that an innocent curiosity of the child or dissatisfaction to the existence of the skin color he never wanted to have or even see? Only the almighty should be able to answer that, but him constantly trying to scrub his face with a thinking of getting fairer defined it all. Why don’t we accept that we are all, the descendant of the same species: you call him Adam or Mohammad?

That it is just a little bit of melanin that is making such a difference. Did it make any difference which color man donated you the blood when you were in a verge of dying? Do blacks or whites, Hindus or Muslims have any difference when it comes to their blood color? Is the blood of the lower caste which the society defined on no basis, blue or black? In the end it is just blood. Let’s respect it till it has its value as lamenting later has no value. Why can’t we just realize that the almighty God created our skin tones with a beautiful variety, but we all have the same pure soul! It’s just a matter of realization and a big difference would be noticed if implemented, once from within. Let the soul decide that.

Hermann Hesse in his 1927’s classic Steppenwolf  has wisely stated: “ Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strengths, its beauties and ugliness, accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap…Now there are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, and no simple acquiescence.” Though stated back in 1927, the scenario is still the same. We have disguised ourselves as better human beings than before but the evil mindset we have been inheriting in subsequent generations is no less than a silent catastrophe in making. Dor Bahadur Bista in his 1990’s book “Fatalism and Development” has rightly pointed out that the only way out of suffering of this transition was constructing the new age as rapidly as possible, so that we are no longer caught between two ages as quoted above. The amendment of the current age and beliefs has failed many a times so newer creation is the only option we have.  As rightly stated by Barack Obama, change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time, rather we are the ones we have been waiting for, we are the change that we seek. So, the newer generations need this realization, else the ideology of a better world will just limit itself to papers and speeches. Having said that even if it is done, the efficacy seems a hurdle considering the conservative thinking deep rooted in our society. But ultimately, isn’t change being brought slowly, better than not changing at all?

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

Sagar Panthi

BPKIHS, Dharan, Nepal                                                                                                  

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