Friday, August 7, 2015

I am a minority so I understand their insecurity.

Some time back I wrote a post about why rights of minorities (in any sense not just religious minorities) matter in any civilized and progressive society. The reason why I am so aware and sensitive towards rights of minorities is because I find myself representing a minority opinion in almost each and every discussion or debate I participate. I don't affiliate or attach myself with any particular religion, group, philosophy or sect, I prefer to be a independent voice. Normally I find people are very polarized about their views; you are either pro gay rights, anti war, pro poor, pro abortion or anti gay rights, pro war, anti abortion; in India even after supporting a terror act committed by Hindu mob then people can call themselves a nationalist but if you do the same for Muslim mob then you are labeled as a traitor or Pakistani. Like this people conveniently divide themselves based on whatever line suits them, you are either with them or against them there is no possibility of middle ground. You are either liberal or conservative, either communal or secular, it is about which side you want to choose not about which ideas or principles you support. People treat others not supporting their own views or ideas almost like enemies, they often tend to fight based on party lines not based on the ideas and views. The word 'bipartisan' only exists in speeches.

I personally find some good ideas with one section and some good ideas with other section who are often at loggerheads against each other. This makes me a unique minority, when if I am arguing or discussing with liberals they think I am a conservative person and if I am discussing something with conservative person they think I am a liberal. This also makes me to have no political affiliation of my own, I support issues and ideas not political parties or leaders so I am always considered as supporter of 'Y' party in group of X' party people and you can put any names in place of X or Y. Because of all this I call myself a unique minority and understand very well why it matters to protect their voice. No matter whether we agree with their opinions or not, no matter if we are comfortable with what someone saying or not any civilized society needs to protect voice of dissent. They need to create and maintain the atmosphere where everyone is comfortable in sharing their views and concerns. And one should not confuse this with minority appeasement, that is all together separate issue. Minority doesn't need any extra favors they should be given equal rights and space, that' it, no more no less.

For any majority if they want it is easy to crush any voice or objection against them, it is easy to intimidate or scare a person who is is minority. This is why it becomes a responsibility of majority to create that conducive and healthy atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable as only they have the power to do this. It is quite natural for minorities to feel insecure if majority or even part of majority shows any hostile attitude towards them. Fortunately so far I happen to live in societies where dissent was never questioned with life threat, off course there was criticism, resistance and ridicule which is expected but so far there is no physical threat to me for expressing my views and objections. But when I see people threatening others just for expressing different line of thoughts even in social media, this makes me think why there is so much hatred for dissent? Why can't people discuss and debate rather than threatening each other. I hope the importance of having voices who object or criticize is not forgotten by people who enjoy the power, I remember how people like Jawaharlal Nehru gave so much importance for listening to other side of story. I hope this culture and attitude stays or rather steps up to next level rather than moving towards majoritarianism. This is why I speak in favor of minorities rights to raise their voice, I speak in favor of discussion and debates rather than obedience to implement certain policies. Let's hope that world still believes in moving together rather than moving towards direction which certain powerful group feels is right for everyone. 

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]


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