What is Diversity & Discrimination?
Diversity is the product of different geography, culture, and history. Diversity means variety and being different.
- Discrimination is when someone is treated worse because of gender, race, disability, colour, nationality, religion, and age
We all are different which makes each one of us unique.
What do you mean by Difference and Prejudice?
Difference is the variation in the use of language, status, religion, educational background or geographical setting. Prejudice is an idea with negative feelings for those who are different from us.
To get an idea about how diverse India is, just look at these points.
- Eight major religions of the world are practiced in India and there are 1600 languages as people’s mother tongues and a hundred dance forms.
- However, this diversity is not always celebrated, the reason being people are more comfortable with those that look, dress, and think like them.
- They may consider people who are different as strange or unfamiliar. They may have a preconceived idea about these people. One stereotype is considering villagers as ignorant and people in cities as money-minded and lazy.
- Prejudice means to judge other people negatively or see them as inferior. We can be prejudiced about many things: people’s religious beliefs, the colour of their skin, the region they come from, the accent they speak in, the clothes they wear, and more.
- Owing to prejudices about others, we don’t want to form friendships with them and may even act in ways that hurt them.
Try yourself:What does this mean, 'Judge other people negatively or see them as inferior'?
Prejudice means to judge other people negatively or see them as inferior. For example, if we think that Hindi is the best language and other languages are not important, we are judging these other languages negatively.
When we fix people into one image we create a stereotype. Saying that those who belong to a particular country, religion, sex, race, or economic background are “stingy,” “lazy,” “criminal” or “dumb,” is using stereotypes.
A common stereotype is that girls should not pursue education, which is totally wrong.
- As children grow up, boys and girls are taught to do certain types of tasks.
- These are based on certain types of stereotype images. It means to fix people into one particular image.
- There are stringy and generous people everywhere, in every country, religion, group whether rich or poor, male or female.
- Stereotypes stop us from looking at each person as a unique individual with his or her own special qualities and skills that are different from others.
Inequality and Discrimination
If you do something to put other people down, if you stop them from taking part in certain activities, you are discriminating against them.
- Discrimination happens when people act on their prejudices or stereotypes.
- Discrimination can take place because of several reasons.
- Groups of people who may speak a certain language, follow a particular religion, live in specific regions, etc. may be discriminated against as their customs or practices may be seen as inferior.
- People may suffer discrimination on economic or social grounds. Tribal, some religious groups, and even particular regions are discriminated against for one or more of these reasons.
On Being Discriminated Against
People are engaged in certain types of occupations. Certain kinds of jobs are more valued than others.
- Caste rules were set which did not allow the so-called untouchables to take on work, other than what they were meant to do.
- Dr Ambedkar suffered discrimination when he was only of nine years in school.
- He emerged as the pioneer of the rights of Dalits. He believed the Dalits must fight against the caste system.
Try yourself:Who emerged as the pioneer of the rights of Dalits and believed that Dalits must fight against the caste system?
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar emerged as the pioneer of the rights of Dalits and believed that Dalits must fight against the caste system.
He also played a key role in formulating our constitution and is often regarded as the Father of Indian Constitution.
Striving for Equality
When India became a nation in 1947 our leaders too were concerned about the different kinds of inequalities that existed.
- Writers of the Constitution of India (a document that laid out the rules by which the nation would function) were aware of the ways in which discrimination had been practised in our society and how people had struggled against this.
- Many leaders of these struggles such as Dr Ambedkar had also fought for the rights of the Dalits. So these leaders set out a vision and goals in the Constitution to ensure that all the people of India were considered equal.
Some of the members who wrote the constitution of India.
- This equality of all persons is seen as a key-value that unites us all as Indians. The Constitution placed responsibility on the government to take specific steps to realize this right to equality for poor and other such marginal communities.
- They believed that respect for diversity was a significant element in ensuring equality. They said that the government must treat all religions equally and no one language, religion or festival should become compulsory for all to follow.
- Therefore, India became a secular country, where people of different religions and faiths have the freedom to practice and follow their religion without any fear of discrimination.
- Though these ideals are enshrined in our Constitution, inequalities exist even today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1. What problems are created by the stereotypes?
Ans: Stereotypes create the following problems:
- They stop us from looking at each person as a unique person.
- They prefer their special qualities and not of others.
- They fit large number of people in one pattern or type.
- They prevent us from doing certain things.
Q.2. How do we discriminate some persons from others?
Ans: We discriminate some persons from others by doing the following activities:
- We do something to put others down.
- We stop them from taking part in certain activities.
- We prevent them from taking up jobs.
- We stop them from living in certain localities or neighbourhoods.
- We prevent them from taking water from the same well or pump.
- We do not allow persons taking tea in the same cup or glass as others.
Q.3 What are the major problems of the poor?
Ans: Problems of the poor people:
- They cannot meet their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.
- They are discriminated in offices, in hospitals, in schools, etc.
- They are treated badly everywhere they go.