What does black lives matter movement in USA tell us about the western world and what message can India take from it?
Recently, America was gripped by one of the most serious protests against racism and police brutalilty across it’s various states. The western world has always appeared to be modern and progressive and is always looked up to, but is it a reality?? Or is the west just a shiny house of glass that looks beautiful in a pretentious manner but is actually fragile; because these protests have suddenly woken us up to a bitter truth, shattered our notions and made us question what we as a civilization are looking up to. 155 years have passed since the end of the American civil war and a 158 years have passed since president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, yet the United States in 2020 is battling the sociopathic ideology of racism. Surely, the states have come a long way since 1855, but the people of a particular race are still finding problems in adjusting and mixing up in the American society. As we already know,this is not the first time a movement to end racial discrimination has taken place in USA. The American Civil Rights Movement of the 1940s was the most important non-violent resistance and civil disobedience against racial inequality led by Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Malcom X. The movement ended with United States signing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1968 abolishing discrimination of all kinds on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnicity and granted voting rights to all. On the Other hand, India already abolished discrimination in a similar manner in Article 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution 18 years before that back in 1950. This makes us think whether this society is actually modern and also leads us to ponder if their regressive nature is only limited to race. The answer is no to both.
The other problem they as a society have to deal with is sexism. Yes, gender inequality. A country, a civilization that is worshipped in India for it’s liberal socio-cultural approach especially towards the female gender is actually gripped by sexism that is far worse than India or as the fact of the matter, worse than any country in the world. The Indian youth is quick to notice that Women are allowed to wear whatever they want there, and moral policing is still a problem here, but their rudimentary mind fails to see that America and Europe combined have one of the highest numbers when it comes to crimes against women, there is an approximately 20 % difference between the wages of a man and a woman and the difference jumps to 40% when the woman is black. Women are objectified openly, picked out for their bodies, lifestyle and careers. Workplaces are still a nightmare there, opportunities for women are as limited as in any other ‘backward’ country. The most striking fact is that women over there had to fight to get voting rights and in India, we didn’t even need to think about it and made universal suffrage mandatory since the beginning. There’s no doubt that many of these problems do exist in India as well, but there is something that we possess that nobody else does: our culture. The culture that has been the origin of everything in this world, a culture that if followed, makes a human always travel the right path, a culture whose depth is unmatchable and whose ideas are the most progressive and broad minded in the world; a culture which the whole world will slowly adapt to as the only way to lead a balanced life. That is what distinguishes us from them. We, as of now are people with strong foundation who are disconnected from our own ideas largely due to misinterpretations and foreign invasions, the sole reasons of our backwardness. Now, if we truly have to uplift our society, we have to stop looking at the west and go back to our own ideas, follow them and guide the rest of the world.