An enormous country like India has multiple layers of diversity. Religious, cultural, culinary, caste, class etc. Many of these stratas were created to organise society and maintain harmony. For example, a certain group of people would for generations have a certain profession thus simplifying competition.
But the problem arises when one group considers itself superior or more important than the other. Solely on the basis of the group they belong to regardless of their personal achievements or intelligence.
Thankfully while growing up I was oblivious to the concept of castes. Till date, I have no idea what caste my best friends of 25 years belong to. Because it is an irrelevant question. I do not judge them on WHAT they are rather love them for WHO they are. But what is scary is that I am in a small minority. As I grow up and meet more people, I am shocked at how callous people are in dissing sections of society, in being openly disrespectful to their culture and believing they are inferior to them.
This is not the folly of any one religion. I am a Sikh and the very religion built on the tenets of tolerance and equality today has sub sects and castes. As does Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.
As I said in the beginning, this is a human phenomena and not an east versus west debate. The west is equally prejudiced against sections of society.
I hope that I can achieve what my parents did. Raise a child who believes that every human being is equal. I hope I can teach her to bow her head in Gurudwaras, Temples, Churches, Mosques, Stupas. I hope I can help her accept and love people for who they are. I don't plan to change the world but I hope I can help her see this world clearer without multiple tints of prejudice.
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