“Unity in diversity” is a common slogan that we’ve all heard, chanted and been proud of, as a nation. For many of us, the privileges of economy and social status have acted as insulators – leading us to believe in this without a doubt. But the truth is, even today, in 2017, Indian society continues to be divided.
The voices featured in this video are only a small sample of the larger problem that plagues the nation, 70 years after its independence. Worse still, these experiences are not just harming individual sentiments, but also denying them opportunities. For instance, women earn only 56% of what men earn at their jobs. There have been several accounts of people who identify as transgender being denied inclusion in society – to the extent that they’re even denied access to toilets! And what of our ‘maids’ who are served food and water in separate vessels – because they’re considered ‘dirty’?
The voices remind us that there’s a long way to go to achieve complete equality in India. And the government has committed to do it by 2030. It has committed to eradicate all forms of inequality and achieve social and political inclusion of all, irrespective of social, cultural, biological, political and other identities – as a signatory to the Sustainable Development Goals. And we need to remember that there’s just a little over a decade left to achieve this mammoth task. So, let’s ask this of them: are we going to meet the target we’ve set ourselves, or are we willing to placate ourselves over small successes and forget the larger picture?