Sunday, March 14, 2021

Promoting, project harmony, giving a sense of belonging and representation to all is must: Communal Harmony Project-58

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

For any nation or society, it's important to have unity, cohesiveness, shared culture and a sense of belonging among people.

There must be harmonious relationship and it is necessary for progress in the society. 
However, if there is an attempt to dismiss multiculturalism and avoid giving representation to different sections of society, it can have a negative effect on the people. 
At least, there was an attempt in those days to tell society that everyone belongs. 
Govt advertisements, stamps, comics, magazine covers, pvt sector ads. Then 1990 onward, it was stopped, went out of fashion, no effort. Kids, new generation didn't grow up on it. The consequences are understandable.
Strong push to the idea of a majoritarian society leads to situation where certain groups, people are 'otherized'. No Ram-Rahim or Rajan-Iqbal, because it is equality, representation. Not cool? Look at children's magazines now, serials or even a 'Chhota Bhim' whose village will not have any Muslim or Christian.
Bollywood, textbooks, theatre, wherever there was representation, it irked them. When you want to instill it in minds, this concept, it damages the fabric, unity. A beautiful garden must have flowers of all kind.  Let a million flowers bloom. 
Government should promote and push for communal harmony, make it appear beautiful, not just present one community. As others get hurt when their culture is ignored, even their presence is taken for granted and they are not considered equals.
The role of government is most important. When officially, it is promoted that harmony is cool and we must give representation, private sector too follows, it is believed and practiced in institutions--colleges, offices, schools. Mass media too presents it in a better way.
But if there are right-wing groups that are close to leaders and establishment that are not happy with multi-culturalism, then it's clear that this idea of multi-culturalism ought not to be promoted. The signal has its affect and people understand, organisations follow suit, societies witness and suffer. Hence, if there is real intent for progress, then governments must take interest in projecting the beauty of a multi-cultural society.