George Floyd would not be the last American black man to cry out ‘’I can’t breathe, Rohingyans of Myanmar won’t be the last sect to be kicked out for being poor Muslims, and Tamils of Sri Lanka will not be the last under subjugation for being a minority. All the incidents referred took place in three different geographical zones and at different times, but the cause of it was the same in all events. Racism and Genocide, the hydra-headed monster was there to disturb them all. ‘’ I can’t breathe” is going to be an everlasting cry of all those people who may get crushed under the weight of racism. The death of George Floyd in the USA again brought to light that damned word racism to human consciousness with a bang because it happened in a nation which proclaimed itself as a world leader in every sphere. Dictionaries define the word ‘racism’ as follows “prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different sect based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”
That is it, a belief; in all probability a false one, which tells me initially that my family is superior, then religion, sect and suddenly it reminds me that the color of skin and physic and even language also is the best and great. Gradually, if circumstances are conducive, it engulfs my state, nation concepts and ultimately everything that made and sustained me becomes superior to all others life and beliefs. However, if You and I ever had been through such a mindscape, no doubt, we are also fit to be called racists, along with Derek Chavioun, Aung Suuy of Myanmar, Sinhala Puritans, and Christian Charismatics, Hindu Chauvinists, and Islamic heaven creators! Yes, racism and Genocide persist.
But we may skillfully tell the world that it is not like that, rather we are trying to save our sacred thoughts and beliefs. Religious caves are a safe place for every racist to hide and preach his own sect’s supremacy and to create a gang of blind followers who believe in their superior identity. Slowly this false belief will tempt them to change others through soft talks or through inducements. If both attempts failed then violence may come up and slowly it would acquire the form of genocide. If political power is with racists then expect a clean sweep.
In this context, it is pertinent to ask ourselves, had there ever been a time free from this mentality in the history of sapiens? No is the answer. Will there be a time, in the future where the word racism would not appear as a wound? Here also the answer is no. History is replete with events that would confirm it. Modern history says that prejudices or superiority attitude of some people slowly grow and acquires the degree of race consciousness and one day it turns out as a monster committing genocide. In short, some strange notions, feelings or displeasures slowly acquire the power to destroy others en masse.
The modern history of genocide starts with the killing of Tasmanian aboriginals of Australia in mid-1820 and halted temporarily in 2017 with Rohingyan cleaning in Myanmar. In between lay famous madness like Holocaust by the Nazis, Serbian, Cambodian, Armenian and Assyrian and Bangladesh genocides. In various African countries, the antagonism of different tribes remains like dry TNT powder ready to get ignited at any moment. The ongoing Nigerian conflict has racism at its base. Recently concluded Israel-Palestinian conflict outwardly appears as a fight for land, but its undercurrent now is the annihilation of Jews, it seems. All the Islamic fundamentalists publicly declared it. In the same manner, Israel also thinks that they are a special creed and their writ must run in the Middle East.
Perhaps Gandhi’s India too may be inching towards utter racism and genocidal inferno. Present socio-political events are a pointer to such a possibility.