Monday, February 13, 2017

WHEN THE MIND IS FREE FROM PREJUDICE







“It is not our differences that divide us,” said Andre Lorde, “It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” 

For several reasons, I admire our PM, Mr. Narendra Modi. But, just because, the other day, he used that rain-coat jibe in the Parliament against our former PM, Mr. Manmohan Singh, who too I admire for several reasons, yes, just because Mr. Modi came down heavily on Mr. Singh doesn’t mean everything about Mr. Modi is bad and ugly. If that was so, when Mr. Singh had come down heavily on Mr. Modi’s demonetization decision, calling it ‘an organized loot and plunder,’ then, the same yardstick to measure a person would apply…

I do not like to brush aside anyone – leave alone the heads of our nation – in one single stroke of brush… If I do not like a certain comment or a decision, it only means I do not like that comment and decision. My admiration of the person should not be completely eclipsed because of one single comment or decision…

From where do our strong dislikes come… What makes us vent out our dislikes – rather hatred – about Modiji or Rahul Gandhi, Arnab or Barkha, Obama, Hillary or Trump… America, China or Pakistan, even Shah Rukh, Salman or Amir… yes, from where do our  strong dislikes come?

One statement, and our daggers are out to slay an Amir or Salman… The same applies to Arnab or Barkha, Modi or Rahul…

If I were to tell a kid to cultivate that one thing early in life, it will be an unprejudiced mind. At least, a less-prejudiced one!

It doesn’t take any effort to condemn or defame someone. No maturity or dignity needed for that. But, to apply our mind… and say something and do something with restraint, respect and dignity calls for maturity. Yes, it calls for effort…

It is just like this: If Jesus Christ is the one who I adore and worship, it does not mean my fellow-beings should follow the same… If I subscribe to a certain political ideology, it doesn’t mean my fellow-citizens should follow the same… My food habits, dressing habits, customs and manners are my own and I have no business to impose them on people around me…

Yes, our differences do not divide us, as Andre Lorde said… It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. 

GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Mini Milind

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