When A Nation’s Unique Selling Proposition Is Diversity

Posted by Priyadarshini Chitrangada
March 14, 2017

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I was taught the meaning of USP during my school days when a teacher wanted to make us understand the USP of most Indian TV Shows being family drama or rather melodramas. One of the first sentences that we learn about India consisting of big words happens to be “India is a diverse nation”. We are fed an idea which makes us grow up and believe in a reality where our nation houses people with multiple cultural backgrounds and where they coexist peacefully.

We keep digesting this idea till we become a Dalit student getting into a premiere university of the country and are made to face the sharp and strong blows of Casteism . We believe in the diversity till our north eastern roommate faces racist taunts as she walks down the road in broad daylight or partially lit by yellow street lights.

We choose to cling on to a lie named diversity till a Muslim student disappears into thin air from his hostel room after getting into a brawl with right wing Hindu forces. The idea of Diversity crumbles infront of our eyes as we realise a few students are charged with sedition for trying to initiate a conversation regarding an issue which needs to be discussed.

When one watches V fro Vendetta and hears “Strength through Unity, Unity through Faith”, as an Indian one cannot help but relate it to another school taught idea regarding our nation ; “Unity in Diversity”. Where is the Unity in our diversity? Why is it that a Muslim citizen, a Dalit citizen, a Kashmiri citizen feels less of a citizen in a country that promotes such an idea?

Why is it that we question reservation of seats and completely ignore the history of oppression that justifies the reservation of seats? It is indeed easy to be in privileged position of the societal structure and say no to reservation but one cannot neglect the existence and the power of political structures like Khap Panchayats where even if a person belonging to a lower caste or creed is on the correct side of the argument, their struggle to receiving justice is double the struggle of a Brahmin fighting the same case.

If India is a truly diverse nation, can anyone explain the presence of Section 377 and the criminalisation of Homosexual acts? If a nation believes in diversity, how can they blissfully ban people from exercising their sexual orientation and consider homosexuality or bisexuality to be a choice whereas it is NOT a choice. No one CHOOSES to love someone belonging to the same sex, it is a matter of who they are. A transgender man or a transgender woman is not less of a citizen because they do not feel comfortable in their skin and choose to be who they truly are.

A nation that is constantly screaming to break out of shackles and chains which have been put on in the disguise of Diversity and Peaceful coexistence, is a nation built on a lie to make the reality look like Utopia. A nation like that needs to wake up and realise that “The Child has grown and the dream is gone”!

A Nation whose USP is Diversity, is actually wearing a veil made of thick fabric impenetrable to the light of knowledge and freedom. A nation like that is a nation where resistance is throttled and put behind bars, where freedom to organise and debate is deported to Neverland. A nation like that is the one we wake up to everyday and choose to do nothing about.

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