Diversity brings different ideas on table, different tastes in food plates, different festivals to celebrate and different cloths to wear and so on so forth. But, if it is not nurtured well, it also brings myriad conflicts, hostilities and divides in the society.
Diversity in India is well known. Diversity in India, in terms of culture, religion, castes, language, ethnicity, food, dressing sense etc. is incomparable in world. But at many times we hear, these divides causing much of the disturbance in society. Some time the disturbance due to these divides is comprehended at such an extent that a prominent Actor in Bollywod was told by her wife to “settle in other country as intolerance is on rise in India”!!!
America is seen as the paradise by many Indians. The democratic values, personal liberty, freedom of press, secularism and tolerance have attracted many of us to that place. One of the prime motive or desire of many, if not all, software engineers working in IT firm is always to have an onsite opportunity in US!
But the ideals are not practical. Recently some of the events in US have suggested that their society, although having less diversity than India, is also grappling with some serious issues related to ethnicity, communalism and racial discrimination.
Charlottesville, Virginia incident:
If you are having a close or even a partial eye on world news affair, you may have came across Charlottesville incident, where a white supremacist (A philosophy according to which white is supreme) rammed his car on a peaceful African American demonstrator against Confederacy Symbols. In that incident a woman got killed and more than 20 incurred major and minor injuries.
What is Confederacy Symbol and why African Americans were protesting against it?
To explain the story, you have to travel with me in history and to the American Civil War!!! I assure you, travelling in history will not be as boring as you may think.
So, American Civil War, a watershed moment in the history of US, has started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was the president of US at that time. He had proposed a legislation, according to which the slavery (most of the slave were African American) would be annulled and be termed as illegal and hence punishable. But many of the southern states of US were not happy of this decision. They have a certain notion that white is supreme and blacks are meant to be slaved. Apart from this there were some economical factors were also associated with their discontent. Slaves provided very cheap labor and hence profitable businesses. So 11 of the southern state formed a confederacy and revolted against the union. They seceded from the union in 1861. After that, a civil war had started in US, which finally got ended in 1865, with the victory of the union over confederacy and they were again merged with the union.
So the racial difference between the so called Nationalist American and the African American is deep seated in history. Now after the civil right movement in America, Blacks were legally brought on par with the Whites, but the prejudice is still prevails in American Society.
After the elevation of Mr. Donald Trump as 45th US President, whos is also seen as Right Wing nationalists and pro whites, simmering discontent gets the expression through various means.
One of the demand of the African American people is that in all the southern states, where they got legal protection by law, but the presence of Confederacy Symbols such as monuments, statue, declaration of public holidays, name of the park, name of the streets are on the name of White Supremacist, is not helping the cause of assimilation of the African American in mainstream as they reminds them the suppression by whites. Naming all these places after white, glorifies their act of brutal repression. These symbols (such as statues) who glorifies the white oppressors, should be removed for once and all. But the white population thinks that they all were the part of their cultural heritage which they cherishes and they are their source of inspiration, hence it can’t be removed.
So there were protest and counter protest held in Charlottesville. In one of such protest by African American, a White Supremacist, in his 20s, attacked the crowd with his speeding car which resulted, as I mentioned earlier, in killing of a lady and injuring several others.
So the point which I wanted to bring here is that, no country is paradise or perfect. Every country has their own sets of problem. It doesn’t matter that they are developed or developing, western or eastern, above the equator or below the equator differences will be there. So even though we hear so many negative news about the divides in India, we should not get carried away by negativities rather we should bring and use all the means which will bring the peace and harmony in the society.