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Confounded social constructs- a major societal obliteration

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Caste

Initially, the caste system was based on a person’s aptitude and profession rather than their birth. The system was intended to ensure cooperation and harmony among different groups. However, the system became corrupted by the social construct of religion, with certain castes being considered higher or lower in status based on their birth and occupation.

As a result, a hierarchical structure was established, which reinforced social and political dominance. Certain castes were granted access to resources, land, and wealth, while others were assigned menial tasks and faced social and economic disadvantages. Thus, the caste system contributed to the perpetuation of economic inequalities.

It is unfortunate that the caste system became polluted with the influence of religion. If the system had remained true to its original intention, the world would have been a better place today, promoting harmony and respect for each other’s beliefs and statuses.

Religion

The major religions practiced in India have teachings that promote unity, love, compassion, and the recognition of the inherent worth and interconnectedness of all individuals, regardless of differences. These teachings inspire inclusivity and foster harmony and coexistence among diverse communities. For instance, 

Hinduism – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (from Maha Upanishad) means the world is one family.

Islam – “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (from Quran 49:13) promotes the recognition of unity in diversity.

Christianity – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (from Galatians 3:28) again emphasizes everyone is equal.

Jainism – “Anekantavada” (a principle in Jainism) also strongly promotes unity while being diverse.

Buddhism – “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” (from Dhammapada) conveys love and compassion are most prized possessions.

Sikhism – “Recognize the whole human race as one.” (from Guru Granth Sahib) also promotes unity.

All these teachings stress unity, love, compassion, and acknowledging the inherent worth and interconnectedness of all, regardless of differences. They inspire inclusivity, fostering harmony and coexistence among diverse individuals and communities.

all emphasize these values.

However, despite the power of these teachings, misunderstandings can arise and lead to dangerous consequences. For instance, a doctor misinterpreting their learning, a civil engineer being confounded by their learning, or a pilot arriving at their own conclusion rather than following their training can put millions of lives at risk. Hence, it is important to stay true to the teachings and to learn, understand, and stay together to avoid propagating hate and starting riots.

Ultimately, love and understanding are essential to our humanity. They distinguish us as humane beings and are crucial for peaceful coexistence and progress as a society.

Gender

Gender is a social construct that has the potential to shape a more equitable and inclusive society and world. Initially designed to define roles, behaviors, and expectations associated with being male or female, it has the capacity to celebrate diversity and promote understanding. Unfortunately, throughout history and even today, the interpretation of gender has often been twisted to serve as a tool of suppression and inequality. As a result, individuals whose identities and experiences do not fit within these narrow confines have been marginalized and discriminated against.

This misuse of gender as a social construct is detrimental to our society and reinforces harmful stereotypes and practices. However, if we embrace the true potential of gender, we can foster an environment that values authenticity, celebrates diversity, and ensures that all individuals are free to express themselves and live their lives without fear of discrimination or prejudice. By doing so, we can create a more just and equitable society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of their gender identity or expression.

Beauty

Beauty, as a social construct, has long dictated societal standards for what is considered attractive. However, it is important to consider the harm it has caused along the way. While appreciating aesthetics is a natural human inclination, the construct of beauty has often been distorted and used as a weapon. It has created unrealistic and unattainable ideals, perpetuating narrow standards that lead to self-esteem issues, body dissatisfaction, and mental health struggles. Many individuals, particularly women, feel immense pressure to conform to these standards, leading to a sense of inadequacy and a constant pursuit of external validation.

To foster a more inclusive and holistic understanding of beauty, it is crucial that we celebrate the inherent worth and diverse expressions of all individuals. By embracing the full spectrum of beauty, we can create a world where everyone feels accepted and valued for who they are, beyond external appearances and constructed standards. Ultimately, beauty comes from within and is not limited to physical appearance.

Honor

Honor, a highly ingrained construct in Indian society that is based on religion, caste, and gender, has led to certain societal norms that perpetuate violence against individuals from different groups, particularly women. Honor killings, acid attacks, and other forms of gender-based violence occur due to deeply ingrained beliefs that prioritize family honor and control over the lives and choices of offspring, particularly women.

Unfortunately, this construct has contributed significantly to destruction and has polluted several potentially beneficial social constructs. It has caused massacres, violated basic human rights, stigmatized social groups and women’s choices, and hindered social progress. It is crucial to acknowledge and challenge these harmful beliefs and practices to promote a more just and equitable society.

Learn, but do not confound!

It is important to recognize that there is nothing inherently wrong with following a religion, adhering to a caste, or holding one’s own values. However, we must also accept and appreciate the beauty of diversity. Unity alone can lead to conflict and hatred, but unity in diversity and inclusivity can lead to countless reasons to celebrate and spread love.

We must start with ourselves and promote peace from within. Social constructs that perpetuate destruction instead of construction should be questioned. We have the power to control the damage they cause, and it’s time we acknowledge our differences and appreciate everyone and everything. We must spread love and keep hate at bay, teaching our families, friends, and fellow human beings about the value of life and how to live with compassion.

When it comes to modern-day constructs like feminism and veganism, they are often misunderstood. Both of these movements aim to promote justice, compassion, and equality, one for genders and the other for animals. It’s important to learn and understand the values and agenda behind such constructs before applying them in our lives. Let’s not believe in social constructs that harm humanity, but rather let’s prioritize learning and understanding their ideas and goals.

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