Saturday, December 2, 2006

Discrimination - a sin??

Continuing with what I had been talking about with Madhav and Gauri... Is being discriminative always bad?? I routinely find myself feeling a bit superior to other (less-advantaged) people. Is it a bad thing to have this feeling?? Irrespective of the reason??

For instance, take the time when some guy had asked me to work on a project with him. (for the record, u guys don't know him..). I plainly refused. Why?? Just because I thought ki that guy just wasn't good enough to work with. Now, I didn't think about it at the moment. But now, in retrospect, it seems as if that was just the kind of discrimination champu was talking about.. "Meritocracy".. I looked up the word at wiki and found quite a lot. Among the things I discovered was the fact that Singapore is a self-confessed meritocratic state. If anybody is unfamiliar with this word, let me help you. Meritocracy is a system(usually of a government) that is based on demonstration of merit and talent and not the power that one yields. Such a system proposes to be free of all kinds of cronyism, and lackeys pestering the ones with the power. That should sufficiently help us get along for the moment. Otherwise, well, wiki is not going anywhere anytime soon... ;)

So, as I was saying, I was left wondering whether that refusal along with the countless other similar things I must have done sometime or the other, make me a bad person! Or, perhaps, a person unfit for this society. Because as aptly mentioned by mad and gauri (again), the reference point to judge you standpoint is always the society you live in. Either you try and fit in with the views of the society, you try to compromise, or you rebel and are termed an outcast. Or as I said earlier, a varying degree of a psychopath. But, what if the society is wrong all together. What if some people do realise that everything is going all wrong, and who would be the one to judge that these "rebels" are indeed correct??

Take my earlier example. Meritocracy. Aren't we essentially discriminating against people who are less apt in using their brains than we are? What parameters do we use for such a judgement? Because, throughout my life, there is at least one thing that I have learnt. That the majority of people are always wrong, and (ironically) the majority of people also believe so. I'll leave it to you to figure out what I mean. Take this Manu Sharma incident. The one where Ram Jethmalani stepped in to save this kin of some powerful stalwart or something. (It's the Jessica Lal case, ain't it??) We, (and by we, I mean the media) have already tried Mr. Manu Sharma and convicted him finding him guilty on all counts. But wait, did we know any any, and i mean ANY, of the intricacies of the case?? Or the Mohammed Afzal case?? Or take the biggest fish of the pond, Mr. Dawood I(E??)brahim himself. For years, we have heard that he is the biggest don. He's the one responsible for a thousand crimes. Maybe, he is. In fact yeah, I think he is. But the point is simply this, who decides it?? Certainly not the court. If my memory serves me well, I'd say that it was us, the people of India who convicted him first.

But why?? Maybe because he killed a hundred people?? Or ordered them killed?? Or extorted a gazillion ultra-rich film stars?? or kidnapped their kids?? Yeah, I think he did all this?? Yeah, and I think that that is very wrong. But wait.. Pause.. Even Halt.. Why this sudden jump from stating that he kidnapped people(or whatever...) to calling him a criminal??

Our entire lives we have been conditioned to think this way. Links are what are sub-consciously formed in our minds between these things.
Steal -> Bad
Kidnap-> Bad
Beg -> Bad
Cheat -> Bad
Threaten -> Bad
Kill -> BAD

and just one more...

question the dogmas of the society.. -> BBBAAADDD!!!!

WHY?? We believe Mr. Dawood killed. Yeah, agreed. But whom did he kill?? Innocent people not in any way connected to him or whatever his cause might be. Yeah..

But is that really wrong?? Did we ever stop to question his reason for doing so?? Don't think that I am trying to condone this guy's actions. I am not. But, what was hi reason. We've all heard of Robin Hood. And how, he was, is and would probably always be treated as a hero. What differentiates him form Dawood?? Or for the killings, why is that any different from the Holy wars, where so many people were killed for so mindless a thing a stressing on the superiority of one religion over another (though indirectly, but still..). Did we ever, EVER try to find out?? I sure didn't. Can't say about u guys specifically. But ,I can assure you that if you did, you would be among the minuscule 0.001% of the population..

My point being, that we decide what is good and what is bad. It's like Black or white.. No other combination's possible.. But come on man.. U can't ever judge a person's absolute skill depending on just a few discrete factors. There are just too many things to look at.. Heck it all, even GOD doesn't ever discriminate amongst us. We all die, don't we? We all return to dust, don't we?? Then why all this discrimination. which brings me back to the moot point- Does my being discriminative - irrespective of the reason, as i mentioned before - make me a bad person??

The basis for discrimination could be anything -colour, looks, money, sex, something as mundane as marks, or something as (seemingly) equally profound as "intelligence". What is it?? How do we judge people?? From the level of happiness they spread or their efficiency at work. The proponents of free market would have us believe that it is the latter that is more important than anything else. In fact, they would say that the two are mutually exclusive. But, then these people would have us believe a lot of other useless crap too. What do you think?? Am I being too damn harsh on myself?? Or am I just plain stupid to even raise the question and this entire post serves no purpose whatsoever?? Whatever you might think, I would surely like to know...