Tuesday, January 3, 2012

5 the Fight between Equality & Culture

Equality has several meanings but does it convey anything?

There are courses and lessons on this subject. Is it something to be learnt or should it come naturally? We can talk about this to children and students.

Tell them that men and women are created equal and should be treated equal.
What if the same child goes back home and sees his mom doing the cooking, serving guests, always eating after dad or sometimes with dad, running around, never stopping to do house work.
Is she employed? No. All housework can be justified saying husband earns, wife takes care of home. Not that it is a great excuse. But mom is employed but still she manages to do all work while dad comes back home and relaxes. No one even asks him to pick up what he dropped on the ground, or dry and fold the clothes nor get something from the shop.

Tell them that all men are equal.
What happens when they hear the racism news in Britain or when US is referred to as "First among Equals"? When you talk that you want only a Telugu brahmin for your son so that she can fit in the big happy Telugu family. Not any other brahmin - there are way too much differences. When you talk to your maid of 60 years without respect neither in language not your act.You speak for the reservation bill and fight for your OBC status though you have wealth that can be enjoyed by next 5 generations. There are still Kings, Masters, Upper-castes, Owners, Superiors and Godmen. Equally there are slaves, robots, shudras, workers and followers. Still white and foreign, black and untouchable, cigarette and bad men, fashionable dressing and rape-victims. 

Tell them that animals deserve equal and humane consideration.
But you ignore when an animal is bleeding on the road - could it have been saved? You overlook that dog-snatching vehicle even though you have seen horrendous pictures of dead piles lying together. You take your eyes off the chicken that hang from the motorcycle, their bodies dangling to the spokes and eyes fixated on death. 

How do you teach grown-ups 'respect for equality' when it goes against the 'respect for culture'? 

Every human being yearns for comfort - what is more comfortable? - Relaxing and watching TV or thinking about your mom/sister/wife (equivalent to your servants)?  And this comfort is protected by his very own Dadima who say men should do exactly that, relax, lest they become fragile.
According to culture, you need to get married within your caste. And Britain and US anyways are too westernized - obviously have fallen 'out' of culture - Racists.
And traditionally you are not supposed to keep dogs and pets. They are unclean.
A bahu is supposed to nurture the family, satisfy her son & produce Khaandan, and sometimes go to work and get money too. Meanwhile the son is supposed get money, all right, but thats it.The bahu needs to take care of in-laws and not the son taking care of his mother.

How do you strive for equality in one sense but completely oppose equality in another area?

Talk against reservation but expect 'lower-castes' to do certain work. Talk about being secular but call women a lesser gender. Do only some areas deserve you trying to balance the scales. What are the areas - gender, region, religion, creations, nationality - in which you fight for equality and what are the areas that you stomp on?

What do you do when your child sees this happening not at your place but at the neighbours? Do you tell them they are following wrong culture or our culture is different?
Do you manage to set a good example without being discriminating?


  1. You're right. Actions speak louder than words. And our children pick up on those regardless of our hypocritical words...

  2. Unfortunately, there is such a great disparity between what we're taught and what we observe. Sad.

  3. @Bhagwad Jal Park, @Pepper

    Totally. We speak something but live in another world. We strive for equality in places that benefit them but another equality is disregarded. Children make a very good note of this. My cousin, 15 years, does not take non-veg because she is born into a 'brahmin' family. You can imagine what kind of conversation ahppen at home.
    These identities are already drilled into them that I dont know how they will derive sense of equality.

  4. on the positive note , we are going to be the parents of the future generation na, i can see it changing. For eg, in my mother's generation there are people who believe that nonsense about women doing all the housework but guys of this generation are better... i feel so sometimes. Lot of husbands now help in kitchen especially if the woman is working. We can change the world.Hopefully the next generation will learn from people who not only say,but also do what they say. To a better tomorrow....

  5. @Rahmath Agree that things are changing for the positive despite being slow. But even in the next generation there will always be those set of people who value their convenience and not equality more. To a better tomorrow!


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