Saturday, December 18, 2010

Apartheid ( Racism)

For centuries of human existence, we have believed or rather taught to believe that humanity has by nature, been divided into races or castes and that certain races are superior to others in terms of physical or intellectual endowments.The discrimination that follows this belief is called racism or apartheid.

  Since time immemorial, society has been divided into various classes and communities. In countries like India, there was a caste system.It was believed that God had created people of a particular caste only to do one kind of job.So the castes were developed along occupational lines.The people who performed low-key jobs were treated were badly.This attitudee has been so strongly ingrained in the Indian psyche that it continues to exist even today, to some measure.

In the western world apartheid is mostly based on the colour of the skin.The white races consider that they are the true builders of civilization and the 'lesser people' like the Africans and Asians are destined to serve under them.It all  started around 600 years ago, during the age of colonization, when European explorers discovered new lands of Africa and Asia.Even as they colonized the African territories, they enslaved their people. The Black people of U.S.A are actually descendants of Africans who were brought to America only to be sold as slaves.

However, in the modern world, racism has got no place. Our ancestors could be pardoned for all the crimes they committed in the name of race,as they were not properly informed or educated at that time.But today , given the advances we have made in science and technology, we are much more informed . We know very well that all people are equal before God, and that there  should be no feeling of superiority or inferiority among any race.Any form of racism if practised, is against the law and will not be tolerated.The Journey has not been easy. It required exemplary efforts from great men to bring about this change in attitude.

While in India ,it was Mahatma Gandhi who led the movement to eliminate caste based discrimination, in the United States there was the young Martin Luther King who fought for equal rights for blacks.In South Africa , Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail to get equal rights for the blacks of his nation.

Even though the efforts of these great men have been fruitful in bringing changes to the laws of the land,the ghost of racism still lies in the minds of many people. Only when we are able to educate and cleanse the minds of people,we can truly believe to have won the battle against this evil..