Funny how I never noticed the majority-minority division while growing up and now it is just too hard to ignore. Is it because of my social circle and restricted view of the world, or because it now has a hand behind almost every other conversation, I am not sure. Not only are these divisions getting increasingly noticeable, but the people behind it are also getting bolder.
Recently, when a classmate, I had known for about for a couple of weeks, approached me and asked me why I don’t have a ‘Ghar Wapsi’, since my ancestors were once Hindus and I have a Hindu god’s name for a surname, I was surprised rather than insulted. Insulted, because how easy it is for some people to assume that the commitment they have for their faith, other cannot have for their own. Surprised, because one doesn’t always have to face the consequences for their speech, a privilege that I, as a minority, have forgotten.
Media is called the fourth pillar of democracy and is thus ideally expected to be unbiased. In recent times, however, its credibility and loyalty to the nation and all its residents are being questioned repeatedly. In a series of sting operations, Cobra Post revealed how easy it was to buy off and influence country’s leading media organisations.
To study in a journalism university and see how people are unafraid to impose their opinions on you and imply that their community is superior to yours, you understand how it is easy to corrupt the most significant influencers of a democracy. Media is an institution that asks you to separate your job and your opinions because of the power it wields to influence the masses. But when the people who have this responsibility do not hold back on their bias, it becomes clear why the integrity of the institution is being criticised. This reflects the culture of the majority. The majority’s oppressive and controlling nature is not a result of a ‘threat’ to their culture from the minorities but of a sense of superiority and the knowledge of power they hold. It is because they know they can get away with it, while others can’t.
Although the dissection of the issue at hand is possible to quite an extent, I find it hard to answer that why are people so afraid and insecure? Why do they undermine their commitment to their faith, and fear that the minorities can control them? Whose fault is it that they fear to falter? Why are they so opposed to thinking for themselves and questioning the authority of their communities? Only if more people asked themselves these questions, then we would at least be a better people, irrespective of our ability to answer.