Narrow Mindedness : A Global Phenomenon

Coming off from work I saw on twitter that Nina Davuluri was trending . Now I knew that she had won the Miss America beauty pageant , so i just opened a few tweets. I found out that she was trending for entirely wrong reasons. She was being racially abused by her own people. I felt so sad that i couldnt read any more .

That pushed me into a downward spiral of thoughts that I couldn’t just get out of . I couldn’t stop thinking why would anyone discriminate on the basis of color(yeah , call me naive) . And then I deep dived into all forms of discriminations , on the basis of religion , caste , gender , region ,  the rich and the poor , intellectual and not so intelligent. I came up with a few reasons and realizations  of my own , why narrow mindedness is a global  phenomenon . Why we discriminate.

narrow minded

Mythbust: This has nothing to do with education

It doesn’t really matter how educated you are , or how educated the society is. Clearly America has a greater literacy rate than India and we still see events like what happened today . And why should we go that far , look inside our own country . We discriminate each day . Think about all those fairness cream ads which showed dark skinned people as weak and fair skinned as strong , so much so that the only thing stopping the dark skinned people from achieving success in their lives is the fair skin( men and women alike) . This has more to do with how have you been brought up . I mean take the example of everyone who has been tweeting abuse about Nina today , somebody at some point of time in their lives must have told them that the dark skinned people are bad or inferior or god forbid dangerous in some way . Where did the hatred come from ? Is it just because a girl from a different ethnicity won a National competition ? No , I certainly dont think so , I think it was bottled up already and this was just a opportunity to vent. Which brings me to my next point.

We often vent our anger and frustrations on the wrong thing

How many of us are happy with our jobs? I am not . Did I achieve everything i had dreamt or hoped for in my life ? No. And I can bet I am not alone. Not everyone of us gets everything they want in life. And when that happens anger and frustration begins to accumulate somewhere . In most of the cases , we are not able to do anything at the actual source of the anger or the frustration. Cant yell at your boss , nor can you quit your job. So , you work a job you hate to buy shit you dont need (pardon me , but I just had to quote Tyler 😛 ) . So , all this anger and frustration just keeps piling up. And on top of that , you reach a point when even the smallest thing that doesnt go your way , you blame it on your fate , the government , practically anything and anyone who is not listening and cannot react back to your accusations .

We find ways (most of the times imaginary) to feel superior

Whenever I think of anything remotely related to this , the first thing that pops up into my mind is that scene from Swades. Shahrukh Khan is sitting in a village school and one of the Panchs asks him , you do believe that India is the greatest country in the world . Shahrukh replies with a very straight face , “No. But I do believe we have the potential to be the greatest nation in the world. He goes on to say that whenever we start falling behind in our race with other nations in terms of economic development or education , we turn to our age old excuse of that our culture is great , we dont need all this . And forget movies , take a moment to reflect what happens in our real lives.This is what happens in India , but not very different from what happens in other countries too. For Americans , India is a third world country , they think we steal their jobs , that we are somehow inferior to them and what not.

There is a sore loser in each one of us

Yes , you may not acknowledge it , but I do believe this is true . Infact , this is more true for people who have won more than lost in their lives . For them , whenever they lose , there was something wrong with the competition , the winner somehow cheated , and if they cannot find any traction to all these reasons , they start bad mouthing . I dont say this where discrimination starts , but this contributes to it somewhere down the line. Take an example of of what I said in the point of Americans thinking that Indians steal their jobs , if thats not plain paranoia , then what is . Hell , even an Indian state almost tried to drive the ‘immigrants’ away by beating them . Paranoia , again.

 

We cannot agree to disagree

Our cardinal need to prove to everyone that we are right . We simply cannot accommodate others point of view. Lets not go too far , lets start small . Movies. I’ve heard sentences like , “How can you not like pulp fiction” or “How did Aashiqui 2 make 100 crores ” and before you start yelling in comments , yes , I have made such comments in my life too. If we cant agree to disagree on such small things , then imagine what is the situation going to be when one discusses sensitive topics like politics , religion . A cartoonist makes a joke and he’s put into prison . If one says something against a particularly affluent  person ,  he’s met with contempt from all sides. And when it comes to religion , these are the kinds of things which start riots.

We surround ourselves with similar minded people

Believe it or not , I’ve had the front seat when it comes to seeing regionalism in action . Right from my engineering college days and uptil now that I am working. When i say like minded people , I was not just referring to regionalism , but I had to point it out first because I’ve seen just too much of it.With  like minded people ,  you keep hearing the same point of view again and again and again. People tend to agree with you most of the times and over a period of time you shut out everyone else . Any stranger who has a different point of view than you or your group , all of you tend to agree that he’s wrong , probably stupid and probably you and your group might even hate that person a little bit.

 I probably had a lot more thoughts when I started thinking , but I couldnt put them all here . Maybe Ill update this later.

P.S : Whenever I say ‘I’ or ‘We’ in this article , I am referring to a human being or a group of human beings and the fact that he/she or them do not have any nationality , religion,region,color , caste or creed.

 

 

 

 

2 comments… add one
  • Arun

    True… 🙂 but this is what balances everything.. Everything cannot be right and everything cannot be wrong. That’s why there’s so much diversity. But world is beginning to change. Those who voted for Nina yesterday were all, let me put it this way, from different race than Nina. Let’s hope people see the bright side too. I read in some newspaper that some NGOs are taking up against these fairness cream ads. They have written to SRK n a slew of other stars who endorse these products.
    For the time being we can only do our bit. Nicely written though…

  • sayan

    ” We find ways to feel superior” is very true. I think its an in built defense mechanism. Root cause for most of the symptoms mentioned here is in fact a defense mechanism for preservation of certain traits in people…and the degree of manifestation of these traits define discrimination at various levels.
    Very nicely written. Keep it up.

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