Many people sincerely try to bring about social change by fighting against discrimination. Some of them are full-time activists, while the rest engage in activism in the course of their daily lives.
I admire all such people, but I have noticed that many, maybe most of them focus only on those forms of discrimination where they are victims themselves. They do not seem to be bothered about those forms of discrimination where they have the upper hand.
For example, men belonging to ‘lower caste’ families may fight against caste discrimination, but may condone or perhaps practise gender discrimination against the women in their families.
Or women belonging to ‘upper caste’ families may fight against gender discrimination, but may condone or perhaps practise caste discrimination against other women and men.
Do we all genuinely try to behave and speak respectfully with people who are economically weaker than us, such as domestic help, watchman, liftman, driver, etc.?
Don’t many of us look down on people whose knowledge of English is not as good as ours, and admire people whose knowledge of English is better than ours?
Why can’t those of us who fight against those forms of discrimination where we are victims, also fight against all those forms of discrimination where we have the upper hand?
Why can’t we practise Humanism?
(Humanism is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as: A rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.
Inspired by the definition of Feminism (The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes), I would like to add my own definition:
Humanism: The advocacy of the rights of all human beings on the ground that they are equal.)