Former South African President P.W. Botha, the Architect of Apartheid, is dead and gone. His CAHU (Crime Against HUmanity) was that he formalised racial discrimination as a state policy. There is no sympathy for him from any quarters but the big question remains as to whether Apartheid is also dead and gone. If we look around and analyse our immediate surroundings and the world at large, there is absolutely nothing to feel happy about. Ways of our world are always like that. Once in a while the whole world gets together, identify someone as a criminal who perpetuated CAHU and proceed to condemn and if possible kill him. We easily forget the fact that the world leaders who are arranging the trial for CAHU are very same who created the villainous leader in the first place and nourished him with weapons for serving their own ends. Once their purpose is served, they proceed to ‘call the dog mad and kill it’. Hitler, Botha, Osama and Saddam are a few of those who were blue eyed once but turned black sheep later on.
Discrimination on any basis other than merit is wrong in the absolute sense. We come across so many types of discrimination in our every day life and we ourselves indulge in many other types of discrimination to get things going. In short there is so much of discrimination in our atmosphere that it is difficult to find anyone who has not done it at all. But clever as we are, the human hypocrisy has found a way around to justify our own deeds. We consider all types of discrimination that suits our requirements as good and others as bad. Thus we have classified the quota system for immigration into US/Europe/Australia, caste reservations for jobs in India and different salary levels for different nationalities in the Gulf as good forms of discrimination, whereas racial discrimination remains the lone villain. The rich and powerful in the world are perpetuating so many forms of discrimination, but there is no problem until and unless it is not formalised as the ‘foolish’ Botha had done. Whatever way one looks at it, Apartheid may be dead but Bothaism still remains a thriving practice the world over.
International Racial Profiling
In all the countries that have flourished and are continuing to flourish by attracting the best human resources from all over the world, racial profiling is part and parcel of their internal security affairs. That no leader wanted to admit it is only because they are not foolishly candid as Botha was. But Sep11 has given an opportunity for one and all to drop their pants and walk naked in arrogance. Just as everything is justified in love and war, anything and everything that are done in national interest are easily justified. International bodies are toothless when it comes to dealing with human rights violations in the rich and powerful nations. A substantial part of their annual reports are always spent on the insignificant internal matters of developing countries like India and Indonesia for obvious reasons. The extent of racial discrimination and Apartheid being drafted into the internal security manuals and laws of developed and rich nations should be a warning for all champions of world peace if they truly are.
Separate queues for separate nationals are a common sight in many airports. It could have been Botha who introduced it as part of his apartheid regime in Railway stations. But why are such queues growing after the death of Apartheid and now Botha also? If the current trend continues, such queues will not only grow but spill out into the bus stands and even supermarkets of such countries in no time. The rich and powerful nations will have two sets of norms for judging human rights violation and racial discrimination - one for themselves and one for others. And even within those norms, there will be separate sub-norms for their own citizens of different descent. All pigs are equal but some white, brown and black pigs will continue to be more equal in the Animal Farm that we are developing into. We will be missing only the pioneer Botha who was foolishly impatient to formalise discrimination ahead of its time.
What else can be the reservation policies that are rampant in India on the basis caste and religion, if not Apartheid in another form? Instead of positively supporting the deprived sections of the society by way of free food, clothing and education till they climb over a certain ceiling, the whole idea of reservations in India is to punish those who are above the ceiling for whatever reasons. The logic of punishing all those whose forefathers belonged to the so-called higher castes is absurd and illogical because anyone’s birth is purely accidental. A clear cut violation of human rights is involved in all such cases of reservation based on parameters beyond the control of any individual. And by repeated denial of opportunities to those who have already survived natural handicaps, the social process is effectively indulging in degeneration and evolution to the negative side. How can we expect another Sankara or Tagore or Raman or Ramanujan from such a society? Or is it precisely that what the modern rulers of India want to avoid?
Those who are controlling the wheels of reservation bandwagon in India are doing a great disservice to their own progeny. For getting a few thousand votes and titbits of power, the wicked and weak politicians are playing reservation games with the future of our nation. History has shown us many times that it is positive encouragement of the weakest that takes a whole crowd forward, and not the negative hurdles put on the front runner. Those who are running at the front are presenting a positive role model for those who are behind. And it is the duty of the society leaders to generate a feeling of fairness and positive encouragement for all those who are performing well. More and more types of reservations will only impede the development of our country in every sphere. It is time we understood the reasons why Independent India is not producing even a handful of great men as we had during British Raj.
Both Apartheid and its father Botha died a natural death. But the original thoughts and theories that guided Botha are very much alive even today. By all indications it is bound to continue and develop further into more and more areas of human activities. Some great men had prophesied that human race will eventually evolve into a brownish upper class and blackish lower class, very much like the Devas and Asuras in our puranas. The 20% Devas will control 80% of wealth and use all the Asuras for their own purposes. In such a situation, Bothaism will be the rule rather than exception. The only way to avoid this frightening scenario is to encourage merit and avoid discrimination in all forms. Let us try to create more and more Devas and not ‘asuric’ Bothas in our midst again.