Move Beyond Regional Chauvinism

You are what you believe in. You are what you protect. Well, at-least I believe it to be so.

Yesterday, just before retiring for the day, I noticed a post shared by a certain friend, or let’s say acquaintance of mine on Facebook. It had something to do with memes on people from different state in her own. Honestly, regional chauvinism in any form disturbs me, disturbs me a lot actually. And the same thing happened yesterday. So, for quite some time last night, I actually kept pondering on this very issue. It’s perturbing that even educated folks believe and propagate bias in the name of language, region and the likes. Sadly, it seems to be rampant in our beautiful country and may be everywhere else as well.

Now, I can only speak for myself and this is what I feel. Bengali is my mother tongue. But that doesn’t mean I would expect someone else, who is a non-Bengali, to speak fluent Bengali, that too with correct pronunciation. Also, it would be extremely ridiculous if I looked at his or her attempt at speaking Bengali, even if broken, as an insult to my mother tongue. So, you see my objection to a meme which perhaps shows a bomb being handed over to a person who mispronounces a certain word of another language? If I did that myself it would only show how small I’m as a person. But people do that, don’t they?

Source: by Rawich

Secondly, if a non-Bengali living in Bengal is unable to speak the language, it doesn’t give me the right to abuse or deride that person on that basis. If I even did that, it would only show how irrelevant my education has been to my character. I cannot be foolish and bigoted to the point of expecting someone whose mother tongue is not the same as mine to learn it just because he or she has been living in an area with Bengali majority. 

Learning and speaking a new language is an individual prerogative and nobody has the right to mistreat on the basis of that. Having said that I would also not go around scoffing some other language just because it is something I don’t know. But do note that verbally insulting a language and mispronouncing it for the lack of knowledge on it are entirely different things. So, when people do the same it not only annoys me but makes me extremely angry too. But the sad part is, valid arguments fall flat on people with such prejudiced thoughts. They wouldn’t even blink an eye-lid deriding a person based on language, food habits, or anything different from their own.

For some reason the love for one’s state is greater than the love for the nation. While it’s extremely good to love and respect your state, getting fanatical to the point of showing intolerance to someone else, well, only reflects your ignorance. I, frankly, have very low opinion of people who cannot think beyond their language, region and religion. Do you know what the worst part of it is? Education seems ineffective when it comes to these folks. Educated illiterates, I call them.

Humans, in general, find it easier to shun anything that is different or anything that they have no knowledge of. It's like a reflex action. The fear of the unknown, you could say. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the regional jingoism is widespread in this country.

I don’t know what you believe in, but I would certainly like to get your perspective on this. Don’t you think its high time you and I just be Indians for a change and look at each other as humans? And maybe even rise above this idiocy of name calling? There are so many issues which are far more important that need attention. Therefore, why can’t you and I stop bickering over which part of India we belong to? Or, why you love roti and I rice?

Think about it! Let’s make India better, tolerant. You and I need to do it for the future generations. I’m in, are you?

Too serious a post? Well, I promise the next one will be something light-hearted.

Until Next time then!