April 1, 2015

Clash of differences

Very often I find that most of the lessons learnt in school were so irrelevant and so not-making-any-impression on kids sort that it bemuses me what would happen to the people who think they were running the show once they are put out of work. The thought of doing the same at workplace also sometimes feels motivating to me but I think that revenge angle of things is best avoided. Revenge against what you ask? The revenge is for the stark difference in what one is supposed to be doing and what fraction of it they end up doing, even if it was because they were incompetent in the first place or just letting things be shying away from the responsibility.

The lesson I would like to bash today is that of "unity in diversity". This is perhaps the most ironic and hypocritical essay each one of us would've written as part of the school syllabus. We talk about unity but are so bent upon:

  • distinguishing ourselves from the other and
  • classifying achievements based on the group one belongs to and worse,
  • encouraging others, directly or indirectly, to do the same. 
I was disgusted at college year after year to see the lengths people could go to distinguish themselves and their groups/clans. And each time I hid that disgust by repeating the dialog from Chak De! "mujhe na states ke naam dikhayi dete hain na sunayi dete hain, sirf ek mulk ka naam sunayi deta hain.. India".
  • The first year was all about North Indian South Indian divide. 
  • The second year about divisions within the AP community based on cities they came from: Hyderabad, Vizag, and I can't remember the rest. 
  • In the third year, I was extremely fortunate to stay away from all these idiots and work in the kind of environment I did my schooling in: different people from different departments and different backgrounds and talking purely about work rather than dissecting into why one behaved the way they did. I'm not saying its wrong, because its definitely scientific to think about it that way except that at that time it just felt a bit separatist than unifying. Well anyway nobody spoke about it back then so that's that. 
  • The fourth year was about brahmins, non-brahmins, etc. The final year was about khammas, chaudharys, etc. It was perhaps the worst environment I could have imagined. 
But things don't end with college they just begin there. People from Bangalore complain about Hyderabad. People from Maharashtra who are actually clueless about cities start complaining about the lack of good food in Hyderabad. Well show me a city that is perfect or at least aims towards perfection. Every city would have its problems and before pointing a finger why don't you just think its India first before anything else. 

As usual, I try to keep myself out of these conversations as much as I can because its just feels so regressive. Also I'm sure that someday when a time comes for these people to choose between a person of their group and a person from another group, they would go for the former irrespective of any need. 

So more than the riots, the basic everyday conflicts are disuniting and we can only become a stronger country if we show unity in these small discussions and problems and look outward rather than inward. Let's think about how we are going to contribute to the colonization of Mars now that we know how many problems humans can create for themselves because of these divisions.  

Once again its the small things that need to be set right and automatically things would fall into place. 

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