Need to accept diversity

Equality In 21st Century

By Sagarneel Sinha

We often boast of living in the most modern era, where the gap between an individual and the world has reduced greatly. Although, whenever we turn on news channels or read newspapers or go through social media, we often encounter news highlighting inequality — views based on colour, creed, nationality, status, money, dress et al. This is the bitter truth that equality still remains a significant issue in this century.
The question is — how to achieve equality? Is it really possible? To get the results we desire, actions are necessary. So, without pondering whether achieving equality is possible or not, we should give thought to what to do regarding it.
Equality comes through unity. In today’s era, unity is measured through money or economy — like the European Union. However, today the concept is facing heat from voices within the continent itself. Already, the Britons had pressed the button of exit from the Union and the final process of divorce is to be completed by 2019. Today, there is a new war — the trade war amongst countries to emerge as the strongest leader to control the global economy.
Besides money, creed too acts as the measurable instrument for equality. The modern trends across the globe show how natives are turning hostile to the newcomers and this hostility is giving rise to narrow minded populist political movements. Also the proxy wars among the powerful nations that are fought in another country — resulting in food crisis, destruction of homes and markets and forcing people to leave their homeland, are raising concerns with regard to humanity.
This apart, societies refuse to mingle with the newcomers or the “foreigners”. As a result, the people who have to leave their homes fail to find shelter in other countries. If the government of any country does provide shelter, the dispensation rather starts to lose its base, as witnessed globally, which forces the pro-refugee government to take an anti-refugee or a balanced stand. That’s why there are frequent stories of an “alien” person facing injustice where equality is for individuals belonging to a particular faith and not for others.
So, where is unity? Nowhere! No unity means — there cannot be equality. Pain, wounds and the devastation left by the two World wars of the last century still haunt the dreams of humanity on this planet. Constitutional bodies constituted after the World War II though at least have been successful in preventing a third world war, but failed to control the civil wars within countries, which continue to shatter the lives of humans and the nature.
Equality comes through unity and unity comes through acceptance. The nature is full of diversity. Or, in a better way, it can be said that the true quality of nature is diversity. Every individual on this earth has a distinct thought. This diversity has to be accepted. Without recognising the diversity of the nature, thinking on equality serves no purpose. Obviously, sometimes the ideas are so diverse, that these can’t be implemented together for solving a problem.
However, there is always a path — the path of dialogue or discussion. Just like the rivers coming out from the mountains flowing through their own paths mingle with each other to give birth to a large river which later unites with the vast sea, similarly there are chances that discussions may give rise to a new better thought — a combination of many thoughts.
But one major concern is that we often pretend to revere an individual or a society or a creed or a race. However, these honours are often done only to expand our own needs, which may be political or business or to raise our own stature. As the reverence is for our own benefits and not actually a respect for the others, the root cause of the issue remains unsolved– only to cause more troubles in the times to come. Therefore, the acceptance of plurality shouldn’t be guided by mere opportunism but should be genuine.
In the current era, we are much interested in debates rather than having discussions. We may agree or disagree, but at least we can have the tolerance to listen to other views, without giving the labels of right or wrong. Only then we can have leastways an idea of the other. With regard to debates, the individual is much more concentrated on his/her own ideas.
An individual’s approach is – “I am the best” and “I am the solution”. Such reflections fail to provide any concrete clue. Rather, proper discussions are needed to be encouraged which should concentrate on the thought: “I am one of the best” and “I am not the only solution, and so you are”. When the individual has the opinion that “I am not the only solution”, means he (she) is willing to pay attention to others’ views or may even later be ready to embrace these.
In such a situation, there are chances of a better solution. For example when we prepare lemon water, we add sugar, salt and drops of lemon juice to water and mix them together. Sugar and salt are poles apart in their taste. Similarly, the taste of lemon juice too is very different. But when all these ingredients are mixed, they produce lemon water, a very healthy drink. Similarly, when we listen to the other, the latter too would be keen to listen to us. In such a situation, often there’s always a possibility of a solution — mayn’t be a perfect one but not absolutely faulty either.
Yet, we are not interested to pay attention to others, as our priority is only to debate and win it. Obviously, when our motive for discussion is only to defeat the other, we end up exchanging confronting views, which actually have nothing to do with equality. This is the actual hindrance, which the world is unable to remove coming in the path of achieving equality.
So, first of all our approach should be towards a proper discussion. Problems are a part of this nature arising due to diversity and these can be solved only when there is an acceptance of it in our own minds. The new perception of today’s world should be: “I am a solution and you too are a solution.” This idea should be our motto when we exchange views about equality in the 21st century. The end result is not in our hands, but the least we can do is to try to do some good for achieving equality by accepting the truth of diversity. —INFA