Sunday, January 31, 2010

Social and Racial Unity: Then and Now

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everyday, without fail, we hear people of the highest order – be them politicians, intellectuals or religious scholars – calling for the need to achieve seismic social unity amongst the population of any given country. But, if anything is to come by, fostering social unity is an extremely hard process. That is because everybody has to play an active role, or else, social unity can only be dreamt of.

Let’s not dig too much into the annals of history. Looking back at the twentieth century, there have been many cases whereby social unity was ridiculed.

Basically, this happened when the community that constituted the majority of the population wanted to maintain its grip over the other communities subservient to them, or sometimes even the other way around. It actually depended on who had the most power. However, this was not the case all throughout the world, as in many counties, social unity thrived.

If you look at the Apartheid system that was enforced in South Africa in the year 1948, you would be amazed to know that the racial segregation of the blacks from the whites to curtail their rights was indeed a legalised system.

With this, the so-called civilised British showed that they are nothing less than animals in truth. What this resulted in was obstructed social unity that lingered on until the saviour of the South African people arrived, in the form of Nelson Mandela.

Well, if you thought the British government, looked up as one of the major powers in the world was bad, then the United States was no better. The blacks over there, mostly ethnic Africans, were more than often marginalised in the running of the country.

Not only that, but the blacks were subject to public persecution, and they had little and almost no rights at all. But, as in the case of the Apartheid in South Africa, there was a saviour in the form of Martin Luther King and he changed the landscape of social unity in America for ever.

Ethnic cleansing was an even worse form of destroying social unity and racial harmony. Well, it resulted in the wiping out of thousands of innocent folks, for the petty reason that their colour was different from that of the ruling powers.

Adolf Hither ordered mass genocides of the Jews. The holy Sikh place of worship, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, was obliterated under the command of Indira Gandhi. And Bosnian Muslims were the victims of the nasty Serbian ruler, Radovan Karadzic.

If you look at it, these are but a few of the instances that are generally known to people from all across the world. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of such cases lay buried. However, as we have moved into a new millennia, a paradigm shift has occurred, albeit to a certain extent as last time, social disharmony was widespread, but now, it is practically isolated.

Just take a glance at America. They have a black President, which is an unprecedented feat. This shows that they have broken the wall that blocked the social unity of its citizens, and have moved on to a higher level of living and maturity in thinking.

It is the same in many countries. For some reason or another, people generally have cultivated a sense of toleration towards one another. This is visible for everyone to see in the European nations, the North America, and in large areas of Asia.

Malaysia, of the most racially diverse nations in the world, has managed to keep racial harmony and social unity in check since its independence and even before. Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs and the native people of the land live in almost non-existent disharmony. Only when certain issues are politicised would the social unity of the people be in jeopardy.

Presently, racial unity has one major deterrent – that is religious issues that have been taken out of proportion by certain parties to confuse and brainwash the people and them turn them against one another in the name of upholding their religious virtues.

I strongly feel that once this has been overcomed, racial disharmony would be a thing of the past. And the  name of the new game would be social and racial unity!

How do you look at this issue? Is the world still far from achieving total social and racial unity? Feel free to air your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


caloy said...

social unity is going to be impossible if religion exists. its either we choose one religion for the whole world, or eradicate it entirely.

barack obama didn't win because he is a transformative president. he won because almost all african-american in the US voted for him. african-american who voted for barack because he is black proves that there is still racial issues that needs to be resolved in america. Fully 95 percent of blacks voted for obama.

arjan said...

Yes the Blacks did vote for Barack Obama. But without the help of the whites Barack would not have been the Prime Minister. He is liked by mostly everybody.

E. Sheppard said...

I think it is a good thing to put disunity of the world's peoples in the past where it belongs. I hope this becomes a reality in our lifetime.

There is inequality still around the world, and everyone needs to work towards that, I believe.

I can tell that you also believe in equality for all, no matter what the person's ethnicity or heritage.

Himmat Singh said...

What you say is true to a certain extent, thanks for sharing.

True...coz black votes wouldn't have been enough to win.

Yea, I sure do.

arjan said...

It was the person in Barck Obama that made him the president.

cj'alhafiz said...

where a 1Malaysia....=)

Kelvin 'finalkt3' Tan said...

I seriously think this kinda thing is still a long way to go - racial unity.

Difficulty: Super said...

You forgot Australia!!

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