By: Neilan D’Souza
Dear readers, what a horrific point of time it is to be living in this world. Unimaginable, inhumane acts are taking place across the world. Discrimination has diversified itself on the basis Caste, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Language, Nationality, Gender, Age, Religion, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Disability and continues to grow ever more. When will all forms of discrimination end?
With the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine we are witnessing immense suffering faced by Ukrainian inhabitants. The war has led them to flee and even during these difficult times the neighbouring countries who are welcoming refugees are prioritising safety only to Ukrainians and not other inhabitants. Many ethnic and racial minorities are being held back from receiving equal and adequate support for one or the other reason at the border. It is saddening and unfortunate to observe such discrimination despite the brutal war.
In this month we observe two important annual commemorations. Firstly, 8th of March is observed as International Women’s Day (IWD) commemorating the cultural, political, and socio-economic achievements of women. IWD originated from labour movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement and after many demonstration and commemorations from 1909 in various parts of the world, IWD was made a national holiday on March 8, 1917 After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia.
Secondly, we observe the 21st of March as The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination on this day in 1966 commemorating the Sharpeville Massacare which took place back in 1960 when police opened fire at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid pass laws; killing 69 people, and injuring around 180 more.
Dear readers we must recognise the fact that discrimination is not a natural phenomena but a ruthless invention of mankind and a ruthless sin . We have created discrimination and we solely hold the responsibility to heal the world from it. As we begin the Lenten season this year, remembering the sufferings of Christ Jesus, reflecting on ourselves and repenting for our sins, let us also pledge to become an antidote for discrimination by first – recognising all acts and forms of discrimination as wrongful acts and sin; second – deny and desist its practice and implication in society; and most importantly third – clarify, resolve and settle all impairments caused by discrimination. Therefore denouncing and actively putting an end to all discriminatory practices.