We must expand our notion of equality to encompass all around us: Teesta Setalvad

 

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This is what IIMB’s website reported on Teesta Setalvad-

23rd September, 2016: Teesta Setalvad, civil rights activist and journalist, urged young people to contribute towards building an inclusive and equal society.

As one of the speakers at Vista 2016, the annual business fest organized by the FII Club at IIM Bangalore, she remarked that India and the south Asian region had gained a lot in importance in the present world. “India has so much to offer in terms of multiplicity and plurality — that is the essence of Indian-ness. This idea of India was sought to be enshrined in our Constitution. The basis of the Preamble of the Constitution is the vision that every citizen of India — regardless of case, creed, community, etc. – has the right to equality before the law, and a non-discriminatory framework,” she said.

“We need to look within and see, are we able to expand our notion of equality to encompass all around us? Are we consciously or unconsciously ‘othering’ people?” she asked.

In this context, she also mentioned that media often did a disservice to causes as they “engaged in shouting matches rather than in fruitful and constructive exchange of opinions with diverse kinds of people”.

She went on to observe, “History has shown us that community memories dominate, tend to have a trickle-down effect on modern day politics as we resonate with our old prejudices, old pains. ‘Othering’ can be extremely dangerous for the country,” she said.

“Communalism, caste, untouchability, gender inequality… this is the dark underbelly of Indian society, and we need to confront this,” she said, adding that if one believed in democracy, then one had to pay heed to even the last dissenting voice.

(First Published:We must expand our notion of equality to encompass all around us: Teesta Setalvad, IIMB Website)

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