By : Zeenat Manzoor Mughal
Cultural pluralism is one among the beautiful attributes that leads to promotion of coordinated and harmonious relationship among the people. And it is this relation that contributes to love , peace and harmony. Cultural pluralism helps to preserve the unique traditions, identities and languages of the many cultures within a society ,making it culturally pluralistic that results into greater tolerance , less prejudice and discrimination – the characteristic of successful society and nation. Previously, we would take pride of being rich in culture, however; with growing materialism our outlook has changed. Anti-cultural people can be found harbouring viceseral prejudice against other communities. But, when a teacher – the builder of nation engages into this venomous bias, it obviously startles .
Few days back I was on my internship . I chose a place far away from my home. Actually I desired to meet new people and was quite eager to know new things about their livelihood besides getting a new atmosphere to enjoy my internship . I was very excited to have an advanced experience. I packed my bag and left home early in the morning of 13th September. On the day Ist, I was there in dardsun Kupwara – this place was completely unknown to me. The place was not so beautiful as compared to other places I had visited before. People around me were completely unfamiliar to me. Since I belonged to other community that was the reason I was not feeling comfortable with them. Different questions were posed to me, which I managed to answer very frankly. Next day i joined school, things were normal. I cherished every moment with friends , students and all others .But things abruptly changed for me as I found myself befuddled with new experiences. After attending the class on Friday 14 september I was sitting in the office with other staff members, a discussion was going on over teaching profession and challenges faced by teacher . While i was putting my views forward , a teacher passed comments , sounding very unpleasant ,as if he was insulting me. Things went out of control , when I heard some rude remarks pertaining to my dressing, even though I was dressed modestly and properly . For a ample time I couldn’t understand why I am facing such obnoxious moment ? . I evaded the moment by holding my nerves, but upcoming days brought more agony and afflictions with them . I became a central point of discussion thereafter , my community ,my language , my dress code became topic of debate in the school giving me most hurtful experiences of my life . I began to contemplate about myself , about my community , about my culture and even about my fate . I was feeling as if I had made a mistake by comming to this world through my community . I got feelings that I have perhaps committed an offence and for that I am paying .
As I was not staying with my family rather at friends home , each day and night that I spent there turned out source of inconvenience for me. I was literally depressed.
I was feeling foggy about what to do and what not to do? . I was following the dress code suitable to school environment , there was nothing wrong as far as my conduct was concerned ,but i was the only trainee , subjected to sort of mental torture. Still i tried my level best to take corrective measure in ensuring my modesty which I priortize more in my life and maintain my behaviour. However, all in vain.
Lastly, what I realised is that there was existing a prejudice against me, my ethnicity and my culture, which totally discouraged me. At the first I could not believe is this our Kashmir , where we make loud claims of Kashmiriyat . But later my concious and conscience spoke to me; yes it’s Kashmir where people are characterized by Kashmiriyat , no doubt. Nevertheless, people with filthy mindset are still existing here.
There would be many other girls , silently bearing tormenting approach and struggling to maintain their reputation among others, but I prefered to put this harsh treatment that it faced into my words to make it clear that materialistic progress is not worthwhile unless we won’t develop our ideas and perspectives . Importantly, we can’t flourish unless we would water the roots of social fabric by embracing all the people irrespective of caste, creed , religion and ethinicity . As our progress lies in plurality.
Source: Dimnishing Cultural Pluralism