In recent times, we have seen a rise in the kind of closeted despotic rulers who subtly, in a democracy, want to impose dictatorial, supremacist laws that homogenize people’s appearances and attempt to wipe out unique and diverse cultural identities in the name of mainstreaming, uniformity and/or threat. They use political or individual, unrelated instances of undesirable stereotypes at play to reignite prejudices and discriminatory, divisive behaviours.
When a ‘black’ person in modern America commits a crime, it is overplayed by the media in order to trigger generalizations about the black community. We are seeing a shift from liberal and free ideas to regressive policies that infringe upon basic human rights. Why is this happening?
The answer might lie in the generation of people that is ruling. Don’t get me wrong. Old people should be treated with all the love and respect in the world. But given that our values are a byproduct of the environment in which we grow, the values held by the older generation might be a little redundant; they should not be given the exclusive reigns to lead a country that needs change desperately. Sure, there are stereotypes and prejudices that the youth have internalized as a result of subliminal cues that we have picked up from or elders; we must also recognize the importance of unlearning them.
As millenials who can make out what went wrong in the olden times before the age of enlightenment, we understand that a government that manages a diverse groups, needs to be objective, fair and keep in mind the welfare and consent of its people when it comes to electing representatives and framing policies.
In light of increasing incidents of shootings in public places like schools, clubs, concerts etc, the youth are joining hands and pushing for gun control against the republican party (which consists primarily of old, conservative people who are latching on to the second amendment of right to defend oneself which was inserted in 1791.).
To cite an example close to home, let’s take a look at the absurdity of the beef ban. Hindus, who are a majority community, consider the cow as holy and non-vegetarian food in general as sinful. With Hindu supremacy gaining weight because of right winged politicians/lawmakers (guess their ages), consumption of beef was banned in the state of Maharashtra and some other states for religious reasons and not legitimate health reasons which should be the basis for regulation of consumption products. I, personally, haven’t come across any Hindu, Jain, vegetarian or vegan of our generation, who believed this was justified because what was happening was a religious group was imposing their religious beliefs on people who do not follow that religion or belief. This led to communal tensions and triggered incidents of lynching of Dalits and Muslims. Instead, I, like many of my counterparts, would instead advocate for a ban on commercial alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and tobacco products, which has legitimate grounds for government regulations.
We understand that we don’t have to approve of someone’s choices in order to defend their rights to make their own individual choices regarding religion, food, clothing, career, marriage etc. We millenials are more, or rather, extremely tolerant of others’ personal choices that do not harm anyone and most importantly, extremely tolerant of change. We know to mind our own business, respect individual boundaries, and yet still stick together. Whether this is a byproduct of age, or of an experience in an hyperindividualised, fast-paced world can’t be ascertained. But it certainly has had some advantageous implications.
We are, in all probability, the most skilled of all generations. Along with formal education, we have a globalized exposure towards progressive ideas of freedom, secularity, and equality. We can work better with people and advanced technology and even improve upon them. Or world, without inducement, has no place for wars, racism, supremacy and bigotry. We understand the importance of objectivity; professionalism and work ethic at work place or on other public platforms which helps us understand that while there are people who are different from us, it doesn’t make them any less human. Eg; Homosexuality, which is viewed as deviant and abnormal, is after all, if consensual, an extremely personal choice and not a valid ground for denial of Human Rights.
All of these qualities make us millenials fit to run the contemporary world which has changed in so many ways but hasn’t seen a progress in the socio-economic and political change in ideologies and their impact on government policies.
For instance, abortion is restricted in most religions. Most political parties are based on religions even in secular democratic models of democracies. This influences the policies regarding abortion significantly. However, there is no non-religious argument that doesn’t talk about subjective morality against abortion. Women who want to terminate, for any reason, their pregnancies have the rights to their bodily autonomy and make their decision with the assistance of a medical personnel who doesn’t try to influence her decision based on their personal opinions and merely informs her of her options in good faith irrespective of their personal religious beliefs of the or of the ruling parties. Their personal opinion is not a valid basis of making laws. Laws should be made objectively with only the welfare of all the people in mind and not with the intention of pushing one’s own agendas.
For real change that makes human rights accessible to all even in the face of legal authority, we need more youth representation in the state and union governments and the consequent parliaments and houses. And With these thoughts in mind, I call upon every young individual in India, with a passion to change the world, to actively participate in mainstream politics, not just by the way of voting, but also by taking control of political parties, elimination religion-based based parties and creating parties that have agendas like creating jobs, reducing poverty, increasing education standards and over all public welfare because that’s what governments should be about. Of course this requires changes in age requirements and qualifications, which is a long road but a small price to pay for the change that this world needs, starting with or homeland. So together, let’s lead a revolution!
Picture Credits : foxnews.com