February 18, 2007

Narrow minded people

“How was your US visit?” A family friend asked me.
“Great!” I said
“How are the people there?”
“Is it a nice place to settle?”
“If one wants to…, yes it is.”
“But... they don't have any family life there. There are no values, isn't it?”
“Why do you think so? They too have families... and family life... just like how we have here.
“But... their kids go bad when they grow up.”
“Have you interacted with a US family? I don't think it is right to pass a judgment when you have little knowledge about the topic or subject...”
“Well... yes. But I don't like the way they look at us. They see us as poverty stricken people.”
“Isn’t that true to a certain extend? Take a look at the slums and villages. Even if it is not, who are we to ask them to study about us?”
“But we study about them! We know more about them than they know about us!”
“So what? Does it put an obligation on them to study more about us? Do we know more about Ethiopia or Somalia than how much they know about us? We know more about US because US is well-off and we take interest in it. We know little about Somalia because we think it is a poverty stricken country and have least interest in that subject. Same is the case with them. Why should they 'learn' about India? It is their world! Their freedom to choose and learn a topic of their interest!”

I find it funny when people pass their judgment with no knowledge about a topic. They tend to generalize people. Like all beard men have a bend towards terrorism; all south Indians are Madrasis; our customs and culture are far superior to yours etc. Narrow minded people…! What else can I say? I was quite happy to read this article which echoed my thought.

PS: By passing the judgment of narrow mindedness, am I not generalizing and narrowing my mind?

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