Diversity and Discrimination
Examples of Diversity in India
- There are 8 major religions in the world and followers of all these religions are found in India.
- There are more than 1600 languages and even more dialects being spoken in India.
- There are more than a hundred dance forms in India.
- There are many styles of mural paintings in different parts of India.
When someone judges another person in a negative way it is called prejudice. People often have certain prejudices about other people who may appear different. This difference can be in terms of facial features, accent, eating habit or costumes.
This is a normal human nature that we feel comfortable in the group of people who appear like us and behave like us. We tend to feel uncomfortable in the group of people who may not appear like us.
Since India is a diverse country, people from different regions look entirely different. They not only differ in their appearance but also in eating habit, accent and costumes. Following are some examples of prejudices which happen because of diversity.
- When a person from the North East roams in Delhi, he/she is often looked down by the local people. You often read news about people from the North East being harassed in Delhi or even in Bangalore.
- A person from south India is often called Madrasi when he goes to the northern part of the country.
- A person from Bihar is usually considered as less intelligent and is subject of ridicule in most of the metropolitan cities of India.
- A person from rural areas is considered to be illiterate, unhygienic and unsophisticated.
- A person from urban areas is considered to be greedy and cunning. People think that a city dweller does not have respect for personal relationships.
In most of the cases, prejudices are harmless. But in some cases, our prejudiced behavior may turn to be harmful for the person at the receiving end. For example; when you do not behave properly with a person because of your prejudices, it can be very bad for self respect of that person.
When we tend to see some persons into a pre-defined image, this is called making of stereotypes. Many stereotypes are present since thousands of years. Some examples of the prevalent stereotypes are as follows:
- Girls are supposed to be soft spoken and submissive in nature. They are supposed to have keen interest in music and painting. They cry too often. They need to learn cooking, doing household chores and tidying up the house.
- Boys are supposed to be aggressive and naughty. They are supposed to have keen interest in adventure sports and outdoor sports. Boys should not cry because crying is a sign of weakness. When a boy becomes adult, he is supposed to earn money to bring the bacon at home.
Gender based stereotypes are often portrayed in films, advertisements and TV serials. Almost all the advertisements related to detergents, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. show a woman as the main protagonist. On the other hand, all the stunts shown in a bike ad is performed by ferocious looking men.
Apart from gender-based stereotypes, we also see stereotypes based on religion, caste and place of origin.