BY SATYARTH AND CHIMATA SHRIYA
Revolutions aim at bringing about significant changes and educating important concepts. The French revolution’s major contribution was the concept of ‘Fraternity’ . Fraternity is the idea of a group of people sharing common interests regarding religious or secular affairs. Over the years,
this term has revolutionised with novel meanings added to ancient ones. The term Fraternity conveys a feeling of Brotherhood. Ever pondered upon the question ‘How to practice Brotherhood in India: The nation of diversity? People in India are divided amongst each other based on caste, class, sexuality, religion, etc.
There exist different kinds of privilege among people. In India, a majority of our population still believes in the caste-system and discriminates among certain sections of our society. For E.g.-Dalits, Adivasis, Queer community, etc. These groups remain marginalized just because they belong to the lower socio-economic strata of society.
Women in our society have been constantly facing harassment as a result of patriarchy and misogyny over the years. Dalits/Adivasis etc. have been facing Discrimination by Upper Caste people. The LGTBTQ+ community has been constantly facing homophobia and misogyny over the years. These communities still face bias of multiple intensity by different privileged sections of our society. So, if you are a privileged person here are ways in which you can amplify the voices of the marginalized and not talk over their issues without improving yourself on the following aspects:
1. Acknowledge your privileges: The first stepping stone is always to acknowledge your privilege. Come to terms with the fact that you have access to a lot more resources and you have a better social standing in our society because of your gender/caste/religion or any other aspect of your identity that is not marginalized. Check around yourself, are you having access to places you wish to go to without getting harassed or humiliated. Are you not being questioned for behaving in a certain way or for getting attracted to a certain person? If not, then you are privileged. Read about the atrocities faced by various communities and check the data available. If you are still not convinced of being privileged then talk it out with a person from these communities. You’ll get a much clearer picture of your privileges.
2. Not everything is about you: No one is questioning a particular caste or gender. People want structural reforms in our society once and for all. Understanding that when people question the guilty person, they also aim at those who are on the opposite side of justice. Hashtags like NotallUpperCastepeople and NotallMen derail the conversation and fail to portray a proper image of the incident as well as those who are actively trying to bring a change. Do not do this.
3.Listen to the Marginalized: Listen to the stories of people who belong to these communities. Let them speak. If it makes you uncomfortable, understand that they have lived with this and that they have faced these biases while walking, talking, eating, and above all for just simply existing. Their views may irk you at first but as a privileged person understand that the person who is sharing his/her/their issues was dehumanized based on factors he/she/they had no control over absolutely. Their pain is backed by centuries of oppression, so listen patiently.
4.Educate people around you: Casteism, Sexism, Racism, etc. exist in our society and people practice these obsolete ideologies till today. Stop them. Exercise your power to educate.
5.Pass on the Mic: There is a huge difference between us talking about such issues and a person from these communities educating all of us. We may read books, watch videos, see interviews, understand theories but still, will we ever be able to understand the real pain of having to live with these experiences in life? However hard we may try there is a huge difference. Allow them to tell their stories and let them speak for themselves. You should be an ally in their fight and actively try to support them in their fight for getting justice.
The above-mentioned ways can help you to amplify their voices and prevent talking over them and derailing their concerns. Remember this is a fight, a struggle for humanity, for abolishing all obsolete practices which are existing in our societies in the name of culture. This won’t just benefit the marginalized community but our entire society as a whole. Every person will be deemed equal to irrespective of labels given by society. Let us all actively work towards amplifying several unheard strong and brave voices. Provide them with a platform and create a safe space for them and for us to live without oppression, dehumanization, or prejudice.
Be an ally!