Monday, November 16, 2009

Perpetuating stereotypes

The characters that appear on mainstream media debates are nothing more than stereotypes of respective segments of society. And what goes on during these debates does nothing to dispel them. Instead, stereotypes are only reinforced. It would be a mistake to think this is an innocent phenomenon. Rather it is by design to keep the secular vs. communal debate alive.

The only ones that ever represent the "Muslim voice" in the television studios are the fatwa dispensing Mullahs. None of the other well meaning ones ever seem to get invited. And when there is an outrage against the extreme views of the Mullahs, the secular kind ask - why are the Muslims forced to prove their patriotism? They have suddenly found use for the non fatwa reading Muslims. Feigning naivete, the secular kind think the criticism is directed at all Muslims in general. Similar is the case when seeking opinions from the "other side". Groups like the Ram Sene seem to represent Hindus because they fit the secular idea of a fundamentalist. Over 60 years of Independence and we still have the same charade going on.

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