The year 2016 has been a year of social and political upheaval. France saw the rise of the hard-hard left, Britain voted to leave the European Union, and the United States of America saw fit to elect an unqualified white man over an overqualified white woman as President. Words such as ‘post-truth’, ‘alternative facts’, ‘protectionism’ and ‘alt-right’ made an impact not only in America but in Brexit and across the world. ‘Politically correct’ is now something to look down upon, and all the rules are out the window.
It is important to remember that global social and political events affect us too. Donald Trump may not be your president, but right-wing parties in your city still see him as an inspiration. Your country may not have left the EU, but it still feels the ripples of separatism. When the most powerful man in the world talks about grabbing pussies with nonchalance, – and gets away with it- do you think it will go unnoticed by perverts in the streets?
2016 has proven that we were mistaken about our society. Elements that seemed to be non-existent had just been hidden from sight. For whatever reason, people prefer to trust their emotions over expert judgment while making national decisions. There are lessons to be learned here and actions that need to be taken.
Indians have the advantage of a less divisive government; more focused on economic development than any social agenda. Yet it is still a right-wing party, and people in positions of relative privilege have a moral obligation to think about- and act for- people without that privilege.
People don’t notice discrimination unless they lose by it. Start looking for it. Be informed; be considerate. Be aggressively nicer, because some battles are fought with non-indulgence. In a world ruled by divisive forces, unity is our only hope – regardless of your political views or lack thereof.