Can you recall filling your job application form?
They ask you your full name, gender, religion, race, place of residence… So many details to pinpoint you. Whenever I do this, it brings back memories of our Biology class.
Human taxonomy: Kingdom – Animalia, Phylum – Chordata, Class – Mammalia, Order – Primates, Family – Hominidae, Genus – Homo, Species – Homo Sapiens. Being that Homo Sapient divided further by country, gender, caste, generation and whatnot… we are kind of barcoded from the birth.
In my previous article, I agree that identifying ourselves through our lineage brings us a kind of pride and confidence about who we are. It is a kind of a micro view. If we considered the same in a bird's eye view of how justifiable are those divisions among humans, considering the impact brought by the same what could there be?
In the early years our family name used to recognize us - Who were the distinguished or honoured in the society - Who played what role. Those indicated who lead the community, make utensils, grow crops or protected the community. That was a system of “who belongs where” identification. With the industries and gathered wealth this classification more expanded towards “who belongs what”.
Whatever the basis - it was always based on inequalities. Differences, advantages and disadvantages. In short, it was the reflection of politics in social life – “who gets what”. Segregating us to different social groupings having different opportunities. This lead to hierarchical differences, inferiorization and unequal resource allocations. In simple terms some used this to corner the other, to humiliate the other or to judgmentally evaluate the other.
That is painful. More painful when it starts echoing around you at every step. Reminding you, you are not going to have that opportunity, you are blocked from that society and you are less powerful than the other.
Anthropologist Stanley J Thambiah once cited in his article, “Reflection in communal violence in South Asia” (Page 178 of Perspectives on modern South Asia edited by Kamala Wisweswaran in 2011);
“A member of parliament representing Orissa state once said thirty years ago, in the course of a debate: “My first ambition is the glory of Mother India. I know in my heart of hearts that I am an Indian first and Indian last. But when you say you are a Bihari, I say I am an Oriya, when you say you are a Bengali, I say I am an Oriya. Otherwise, I am an Indian".
The topic heading explains the outcome of segregation.
Inequality leads to hatred. Pinpointing your difference at every occasion leads to violence. Proofs are everywhere, I need not show you.
In the beginning, segregation according to ethnicity, religion, social status has allowed socially similar people to come together to build communities. People sometimes divided on different occasions (according to the blood group in medicine, skin colour in haute couture, hair type in hair care etc.) to give them appropriate treatment. Living beings were classified in Biology to understand origins and evolution.
Today these differences are used to divide and govern. To build up patriots and traitors in politics. To foster distrust and hatred. Whenever you point out your origins to make a separation from the other, remember it paves to a broken society. A society with lost trust, faith and bonds.
Never use your identification to shatter the other.
Identify yourself with the whole - You are a human.
1 : Everyone of us brings an impact to our surroundings
2 : You are the individual who builds the wholeCategory: Life / Subcategory: You are an individual you are the whole
Tags: segregation, division, social politics, violence and its roots, inequality, differences, classified humans