Thursday, 24 November 2016

Discriminating abnormality

Discrimination based on difference, merely because one is different from oneself or unfamiliar, seems absurd logically but in reality is an accepted norm of how it is to be!

Richard Rorty, while offering a critique of 'common grounds' for knowledge, calls for philosophy to be descriptive and see descriptions of ourselves on par with descriptions of others (poets, mystics, sculptors, novelists...); not a privileged representation, over and above others.  He strongly advocates prevention of abnormality being viewed suspiciously because of its abnormality. (Abnormal is anything outside the agreed set of rules).

I guess, it sounds quite convincing on paper but human nature and group (or cultural) reasoning proves this an uphill task.  In real life, what is different catches the eye.  It stands out.  It is a sore in the eye and therefore needs to be normalized or brushed under the carpet.

I'm thinking of our boys in Navajeevan or in Karunapuram.  What's our take on those who appear 'different'?  Those who stick out from among the group?... our zeal for uniformity? If only we view the situation from their perspective...

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