Too many cooks spoil the broth, too many diverse communities break a nation!
Diversity can bring prosperity to a community, however, our inability to accommodate diversity is causing it to be the root cause of all problems. The year 1947, the Independence gained from colonial rule was tarnished by the violence and brutality of Partition. It was an unprecedented genocidal violence and migration caused by the Hindu-Muslim conflict. In the 1980s, it was a separatist movement that demanded autonomy for Sikhs and a separate nation called Khalistan. In 1984, it was Operation Blue Star, which witnessed anti-Sikh violence and bloodshed caused due to ‘diversity’. Does our society successfully accommodate differences?
Our textbooks have been flooded with instances where diversity caused conflicts and problems — from the case of Sri Lanka, where complex ethnic composition led to a civil war in the country to the case of Northern Ireland where tensions between the Catholic and Protestants caused conflict for many years. Diversity is not just limited to ethnicity. It is visible in language, caste and culture, and this diversity is the cause for the DMK President MK Stalin demanding recognition for Tamil as an official language over Hindi.
These demands not only cause interstate conflicts but lead to separatist movements if the demands are not accepted. Hasn’t the inability to accommodate diversity in a political system just added fuel to the fire to all our problems? The growing communalism, and issue of the Ram Mandir-Ayodhya-Babri Masjid case can be attributed to diversity.
The diverse environment is very sensitive. With diversity arises complexities, fears and thoughts of being overshadowed by another individual, group or community. This fear is established with our inability to provide equal upliftment to groups and is the root cause of many problems.
The tree of problems that was planted has its shoot as the lack of accommodation, failure to understand, politics, poverty, education and unemployment. But the fact is that the root of this tree on which these problems grow is still ‘diversity’.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla made a casteist remark by saying that Brahmins are held in high regard by the virtue of their birth. Tabreez Ansari, a Muslim man, was lynched by a mob to death because he refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Isn’t our inability to accommodate also causing stereotypes and prejudices against communities?
In a hypothetical situation, if a group of people is not diverse, it is uniform. All the people will face similar problems and the number of problems will be less. Diversity increases the number of issues that exist in society. Diversity also increases disagreements on needs, priorities and urgencies. India still has a large size of an illiterate population because minority groups of a diverse nature — SCs, STs and OBCs — are denied their right to proper education even today.
Dalits are not allowed to enter temples and denied basic sanitation facilities. The problems and issues of reservations are due to a heterogeneous caste system. While it was earlier restricted to SCs, STs and OBCs, diversity caused more problems. Every community is looking for its own benefit now, which in fact is visible from the demands of the Jat, Patidars and Marathas for reservation for their community.
Before preaching unity in diversity, it is important for every individual to introspect and respect differences and cultures. If we truly cherish uniqueness and individuality, these problems wouldn’t arise. It’s impossible to ignore diversity. When one ignores diversity, it becomes the root cause of problems as we are unable to respect and appreciate diversity. Most importantly, we forget that a diverse society should have diverse provisions set in regard to its safety.