Can prejudice be eradicated or is it here to stay?

Racism is a global issue. The populous across this planet has been subject to some form of discrimination due to their ethnicity. We see this in various avenues including business, music, movies and even sports! One would say the thought of dividing by colour of skin is draconian, why is it still so prevalent today?

As an Indian, and having been brought up in India, it’s rather unnatural for me (and pretty much everyone else I know) to make fleeting judgements on people based on their skin colour. It’s unnatural for us to vocally or physically persecute someone due to their colour. Therefore, racism is non-existent in India, right? But why is this so? How is that, a country with a population of 1.27 billion, has minimal racism as compared to countries with far lesser population? Are Indians psychologically superior? As much as I’d love to subscribe to that school of thought it’s, rather obviously, codswallop.

While India may be more tolerant of racism in terms of skin colour, there exists a deep rooted prejudice with regard to caste and religion. Regular honour killings, murders, gang wars, mass murders and genocides happen for the above reason. Even in countries where there exists only one religion and one caste there exists some other forms of discrimination. Prejudice due to religion, sex, education and the most common one, discrimination based on money and power. While the reasons for prejudice vary from one country to the other, prejudice itself remains a universal constant.

It’s interesting to note the results of a study that conducted by Yale researchers, recently. A group of monkeys was put together with another group of monkeys and on evaluation after sometime, it was noted that they formed likes and dislikes with certain elements of either group, based on particular characteristics that were common/uncommon.

Prejudice is inherent in human beings. It is a primal instinct at work and has evolved itself over so many years to manifest itself through mediums, which are religion, sex, class etc. Does that mean no matter how many years go by, Prejudice will always exist? When we look back on Earth 100 years later will we still be fighting a losing battle against racism and religion?

I have lot of faith in humanity and I’d like to believe that going forward people will change their mind about lot of non-issues like religion, sex, skin colour and creed. Martin Luther King could galvanise a community and beseech to a nation to accept this community successfully, then I’m sure similar attempts to bond people through awareness and education will definitely help bring down harmful prejudices to tolerable levels.

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5 comments

  1. Im not saying that at all. As a matter of fact Im saying the exact opposite. The line ‘Therefore racism is non-existent in India’ is meant to be a parody of peoples thoughts. Its meant to be the fleeting judgement that people tend to make. I immediately quash that theory in the next line after claiming it to be codswallop. Racism is very existent in India in one form or the other. Some stems from ignorance and some are straight racist.

  2. Yeah we all want to root out prejudice. No one wants to be at the receiving end of discriminaton, though surprisingly, all of us have discriminated against one thing or another unconsciously at least. And you’re right in saying it’s inherent human nature, because, I see prejudice not just at broad levels like colour, caste and religion, but even on banal bases like residential locality, ideas and values some people hold on to, the kind of work someone’s doing etc. Prejudice anrd discrimination is a far more woven-into-daily-life kind of evil than we give it credit for.

    Great article, abhishek!

  3. India doesn’t have colour racism you say ? I certainly don’t think so!

    And you also say India is not colour racist because there are so many different colours in the country..then why is there caste racism when there are so many different castes?

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