It is assumed that for a country to progress, it requires three rudimentary constituents that are its economic, political and social aspects, the most muscular aspect being the social aspect. A country with a progressive society can only form the developed nation. And the ingredient that is deficient for the development recipe of India is its social component.
So, the question here lights up is why do we lack the social ingredient?
Why is it that even after being symbolized as a token of Unity in Diversity we continue to persist backward?
The answer reclines in the boundless prejudices and stereotypes that are preserved in our society since centuries and are being conditioned to the succeeding generations. These prejudices and stereotypes are so deep-rooted in our country that even after centuries of formal education they aren’t diminished from our mindsets.
The ruthless caste system is demonstrative to be the substantial hurdles for the social development of our country. Still animating around the society the only contrast is that in some areas its exercise can be observed mentally and physically whereas in other parts of the country it is rolled over only in the thought processes. Honour killings, character assassinations and discrimination on the foundation of the caste has shown up to be the biggest hurdle as it lays the foundation for the formation of a split society, raises the question of inferiority in the surnames and the demise consequence of it can be seen during elections where the educated or uneducated all cast their votes in the favor of the candidate who belongs to their community.
Apart from this, our country is surrounded by further prejudices like matching Kundalis before marriage, divorce is a sin especially for a girl, restriction on girls to set foot in a temple during menstruation, the used sanitary napkin has to be thrown in the running water, the belongings of the dead has to be scattered in the running water, the materials used in the worships ceremonies and the deity portraits at home has to be immersed in water. All these prejudices not only keeps us mentally backwards but also act as a barrier to the country’s success.
Enough of the times, we have debated on these topics but today we shall uncover the causes for these prejudices of our country. After all, the causes just lie in the thought processes and the faulty conditioning by generations.
Let’s roll down and explore the psychology behind these prejudices and why they are so strong that even after being consciously aware of their irrationality we still can’t deny them and why do we unconsciously fall prey to them-
- Emotional components-
The universal reality says the best way to manipulate someone is by using an emotional component in our speech. Especially a country like ours where people are clairsentient and people always give preferences to their emotions. So, it becomes even easier to manipulate them and eventually attaching a comment that might appear rational increases the probability of excepting it.
Have we ever noticed that all the prejudices encompass of an emotional component e.g. if you are denied of a male child then you’ll be denied moksha after the death or if the belongings of the dead one are not immersed in the river than he/she may return or you take birth in a particular category based on your previous birth deeds And if you enter the temple during the periods then almighty curses you?
After rolling over these prejudices I can just recall a dialogue from the Bollywood movie i.e. ‘We are not God-loving people but we are god-fearing people’. As without any real and scientific reason we follow them blindly just because our mindsets are weak and these emotional components over-powers us easily.
Now let’s go deep inside and discover why are these emotional components so acceptable and overpowering.
There are several psychological processes behind these prejudices:
By Conformity, we mean to accept the societies norms. We are social beings and tend to live in groups. To survive and become a member of the group our mind ought for the acceptance of others and to become the part of the society we tend to accept their norms and values completely without giving a thought over their relevance. This makes us the slaves to the long lived prejudices and stereotypes.
By Compliance, we mean accepting a request made by others. Sometimes while talking to a person we ought to conform to hisher words if they approach us with an appealing voice. So, when someone keeps the prejudices in front of us in the way of a request then we ought to accept it to fulfil the request of others.
By obedience, we mean to accept a command from the figure of the authority. Whenever a stereotype is presented in front of us by a figure of authority, we are compelled to accept it. We abide by these prejudices as an order from higher command. The figure of authority can be our parents, our family, teacher, higher officials, a celebrity or a politician.
- Group impact:
As mentioned earlier that we are social beings and we tend to live in groups and ought for their acceptance. And to do so we accept their norms and value system even if we feel like opposing them because of the psychological phenomenon that is, we think that the majority is always right. E.g. if a teacher asks us to choose between the option A and B we will always go for the answer that is chosen by the majority even if we know the correct answer and similarly we accept the prejudices because we think that there would be relevance behind them as everyone around abides by them.
Hopefully, after going to these above psychology processes it would now have been clear that how are mind accept these prejudices and why after so many years of rational education we still relay to these thought processes.
We often say that there might be strong reasons behind them and hence our ancestors use to follow these norms but we never thought that they used to immerse the God’s portrait made out of the mud in the water, not the one that is made out of the plastic (that proves to be a curse for under water life). With time we changed our living standards we started residing in the concrete houses from the mud houses but one thing that remained constant is our prejudices and these prejudices in the 21st century have become not only the cause for the pollution and discrimination but also a hurdle for the development of our country.
So how to stop falling prey to the emotional components of these prejudices?
The biggest power is of beliefs. Our personality is the outcome of our belief system. Correct it and your personality will change.
- Rational thinking:
The biggest step-back of our society is that it doesn’t allow us to develop rational thinking but we as millennials need to work on this and we need to ask “Why?” For all the irrational and emotional prejudice prevailing around us. We need to question their significance and prevalence.