A Bollywood actress participated in a
Raj Thackeray is not alone in this kind of divisive politics and he is merely following on footsteps of his mentor, Bal Thackeray who has made a political career by promoting “
I believe that fundamentally all of us are racist. And without exception perhaps. Only degree of basis on which we chose to discriminate varies. Racism is only one form (though more sinister perhaps) of inter social group conflict. Social groups, which could be based on language (as Marathi, German), religion (Hindu, Muslim) , culture (French, British) or territory.
Social Groups and Conflict: To understand genesis of racism better, we have to look closely at inter social group conflicts. One way of looking at these conflicts is to look at them from biological and evolutionary point of view as Desmond Morris had done in his superb book called "The Naked Ape”. We know that, we humans started our civilization as Apes, a kind of animal species. When we evolved from fruit eating apes into flesh eating hunter apes, we suddenly had to fight with other predator animals that were much more advanced in their hunting skills. Only way we human apes could compete with those hunter animals and survive was to stay and hunt in tighter groups. We depended upon the group for safety and food, the two vital things required for survival. We also became territorial because as co-operative social hunters we had to create base or a territory which could mark the group as a separate unit (most of hunter animals are territorial, like lions). We also had to defend the region of fixed base or the territory and because of our co-operative social nature we had to do it on group basis than individually. Also prolonged dependency of our young (children) for survival and rearing, forced us to adopt pair bonded family units within the fixed social group, where a male member of family defends his own individual home within a large home base or social group. So a family became the fundamental unit within a territorial social group. Hence, from biological point of view, it is in our genes to form social groups and defend them (territories). Cultural, political, social and many such changes which have happened after our ancient days of social-cooperative group hunters have not necessarily curbed our inherent instincts of belonging to a social group and defending it. And what have also not changed are the inter-social group conflicts. Hunt now is hunt for resources and jobs, and modern man has various overlapping social group identities. We have not changed that way since our ancient days. We must need to believe in something and we must need to belong to a group which we must defend against other social groups or perceived or real threats. Due to incredible improvements in healthcare and scientific advancemans over last century, a gross over crowding and migration of our species is happening which is leading to social stresses, tensions and inter social group conflicts. From Tribal systems which are still found in some countries like
Nation State, above other social groups: Desmond Morris says that one way of reducing the inter-social group conflict is to "de-patriotize" the group, break the cohesion of a group. But this goes against our genetic need of belonging to a tribe, a group. If relationships are broken in one way, they must be formed somewhere else. In this view, concept of a secular democratic nation state is interesting one. Even more so in Indians context where we have such an amazing array of diversity in terms of languages, religions and customs, not to mention the castes. In a secular democracy like ours, a nation state is thought of as most important social group and all other social group identities which a citizen of nation-state might have are seen as lower and subservient to identity as citizen of nation state. This includes linguistic as well as religious identities. Even though state lets an individual has his/her social affiliations, state practically ignores them when dealing with the individual, at least in principal, as is also enshrined in our constitution. A citizen of Indian nation state has fundamental right to live and work in any part of the country regardless of whether he is from Bihar or from