November 07, 2006

Minority and Majority

"Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion."

A century ago Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said the above. So there is no reason to ignore the power of minorities. But because of the fact that minorities represent a tiny obstacle between majority and totality or total purity, they are being pushed to the edge everywhere. Even in a democratic environment all what the nationalist movements do is the inclusive categorization of human beings forcing minorities to conform or change.

Naeem Mohaiemen writes with rage towards his fellow Bangladeshis about maltreatment of the religious minorities especially Hindus. While Rama portrays how Muslims are being neglected by the Hindu majority in India.

Is that a problem of the Indian subcontinent only? Such treatments against minorities exist everywhere, visible or invisible, big or small. For an example while driving in Berlin my every trivial mistake is let known by a honk (it is treated as a social duty) by the vehicle following me. Call me cynic but I am trying to find an answer why the same mistakes by the locals are mostly ignored by the same.

Or is this how minorities think? Is it an inferiority complex? Why do majorities have to always keep in mind that minorities can be sensitive. Minorities can be tyrants also. A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

I think the need for reconciliation and integration of minorities is vital in every society. We all need to broaden our mind and accept others as fellow human beings irrespective of their race, culture or nationality. Minorities and majorities should learn to respect each other and clear all the confusions and misconceptions between them. They should feel what actions can hurt and what actions can heal.

Naeem coins his act of conscience:

I shout at all of you with rage, because I refuse to accept a haven for me that is a nightmare for others. There is still time to stop this with our words, our actions and our bodies.

I wish we all could think like him.


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