Far too little attention is paid to the needs of the minority

Essay by qweryneoB, August 2006

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Imagine living in a society almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. Not only is this society isolated, discrimination and prejudice is nothing but way of life which you experience daily. Well, so how does all this seem to you? It is however, a sad fact that in today's "democratic" society, such is the reflection in parts of our global mirror. Little, if not no attention are given to the minorities - be it based on religions, races or any other forms of classifications. Minorities are not part of the shared identity of the people in societies and the government rarely felt that these minorities could make a difference.

More often than not, minorities have no stake and shared identity in society. It is a common tendency of modern countries to assume a "national" identity and culture. Far too often, this tendency leads to a disregard for, or underestimation of, the multiethnic, multicultural, or multireligious diversities that exist within the boundaries of a nation.

Eventually, the minorities present are left out completely from which is ironically known as the "common identity". One very good example in Sri Lanka would be the Indian Tamils not being granted with citizenship rights. After Sri Lanka achieved independence from the British in 1948, it granted citizenship only to those who were either born in Sri Lanka or those whose fathers and grandfathers were also born there. As a result many Indian Tamils who were brought from India to Sri Lanka by the British to work on the Tea plantations found themselves stateless. Basic rights such as voting were denied from them even though they contribute to the country's economy. Up till today, as many as 100,000 Indian Tamils remained stateless. In situation like this, how would one expect to embrace the...