Get connected to anybody anywhere in the world at just the pressing of a few buttons, travel from one part of the world to the opposite in less than 24 hours. In fact visiting the moon, sending probes to other planets is really not impossible anymore. As technology grows, the world has indeed come closer. It is a global village and all of us global citizens. It is a small place. Maybe in the future, if the politicians will let us, erase the borders of countries. And soon, in a 100 years, we can be a borderless world. Imagine hopping across country to country without the cumbersome visa process.
But, are we really evolving into a global world? It’s the people who will be ultimately responsible to make the world small. How many of us know all the neighbours in our own society? Atleast as acquaintances. Will we recognize them and share a ‘hello’ if we meet them outside our gated community? How well do we know your children’s friends? Or what is happening in our child’s life? Do we spare a thought to understand someone better?
We can blame the media for creating fear amongst us. Fear of people who are different from us. They could be from a different place like East or North, or they have different shades of skin, different languages, or simply following a different diet. And if all of this is the same, it could still be different religions. Forget religion, we have communities who are completely against people marrying between different castes. With so much of xenophobia, how can we claim that we have come closer?
To add to all this, communities are becoming more and more exclusive. With only one community or religion or diet dominating our residential complexes, which are supposed to be cosmopolitan with mixed culture, is there any way we can really come closer? The new generation that grows there will be forever changed and will not understand a different culture, believing in the superiority of its own culture. Mixed culture is truly important to improve on awareness, tolerance. Can we not use some law which will ban such discrimination?
With technological advances, we now have information at our fingertips. We are certainly more educated than our earlier generation. We have more opportunities, better infrastructure. Then why are we still going back to the dark ages of discrimination?
We, as a society, has become so intolerant, that we heave a sigh of relief that our child is not mingling with other community children. We also note that our textbooks have all our teachings in order. We also check the names used in the maths problems of the textbooks are of the right caste. If not, are they neutral?
When we were growing up in Mumbai few decades ago, this was not the case. There was no fear and certainly no alienation of anybody. We never even realized that we are staying with different communities or castes or states. And no harm has come to us by living together. Our own individual cultures are still intact and are passed on to the next generation. The differences in culture will only enrich our country and we can live in harmony.
Unless, we change our attitudes, and extend our hand to unite, the world will truly not be closer. The distances between places may have become closer, but the distances between hearts have grown further apart.