Two words that have given some of our people a false sense of bravado and others a feeling of insecurity are the words ‘majority and minority.’ I scoff at these words as I strongly believe each and every one of us in this country or any country for that matter, are the same. That’s all that matters. However, since seasoned politicians are playing these two words to advantage and doing a good job of it, I thought I would project a situation in which you today can do some thinking: A group of children are playing on two railway tracks, one still in use and the other in disuse, for whatever reason.
Only one child plays on the disused track, the rest are on the operational track. Suddenly you hear the sound of an approaching train. You, by the way, are standing next to the track inter change. You can make the train change its course to the disused track and save most of the kids.
However that would mean the lone child playing on that track would be sacrificed.
Or, would you rather let the train go its way?
What kind of decision would you make?
Most people might choose to divert the course of the train and sacrifice only one child.
You may be thinking the same way. I guess, because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child seems a rational decision, most of us would make, morally and emotionally.
But think again.
That child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?
This kind of a dilemma happens around us everyday, in the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society. The minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are.
But does the story end with just this decision of saving the most number of kids? You have diverted the train on to a disused track. Why was it disused? In all probability because the track was not safe. Suddenly while seeing the majority of the children safe and one lone child being run over, the next moment the train is hurtling down the disused track and getting derailed and horror of horrors, thousands of passengers screaming as they meet a gory end!
In the same way outbursts of anger and passions rousing the ‘majority’ community into making ‘majority’ decisions are already derailing the engine of progress in our country. What is important for us to realise is that we are the ones standing at the track interchange. You are the one who has to make the decision: which track do you want all of us hurtling onto?