Where is our so called New Thinking?

In the Corona Era, we faced many changes. Unfortunately they weren’t enough to change the mentality of people. I am sharing this incident in hope that this will make a small difference and change in the thinking of people towards other people who are like us.
As we know the new normal is online classes and meetings, face masks and sanitisation.
In the morning, while I was attending an online class, sitting at the dining table engrossed in the class being taught (just kidding, because let’s face it,  online classes have made it challenging to concentrate).
Every day in our house, a maid comes to wash the dishes. This was a new one and it had only been a few days since she had started to come. I found her weird as she was really shy and quiet unlike the previous ones.
The maid wanted to leave as she was done with her work, she then asked me to open the door so she could leave. I was confused and a little frustrated that why am I being asked to do so, I mean where was she the Queen of that I would open the door for her. Do not get me wrong as this isn’t my arrogance but if someone would ask you to open the door with no disease or leg or hand broken wouldn’t you be baffled as well? I asked her “WHAT?”, she repeated thrice and corrected herself repeating twice that, “Can I open the door?”.  I said sure but utterly confused as to why is she asking me to do so? She can obviously leave if she is done with her job. My mother came later, she was gone to take a bath. I asked her later, that the new maid asked me if she can open the door, “Isn’t that strange?”
She explained to me that in many houses maids aren’t allowed to touch anything as she is a Harijan. I was shocked. It felt straight out of a chapter I read in 6th class about how certain castes are treated as untouchables. I was clueless that this practise is still continued in today’s time. This also explains that why the woman was shy and unusually quiet. It was crystal clear that she isn’t treated with the respect she deserves. I realised I may have been rude to her even if it wasn’t intentional. I talked to my grandmother about this and to a friend and they said the same that this practise still continues. A brutal truth.
Another incident that I came to know about is that if there is someone other than maids like a painter or labourers, they are given tea in different cups than the usual ones. The cups used by them are either washed by them or washed separately. So are any other dishes.
Other incident that I came to know is that once a woman who was a maid who worked at my friend’s and at her neighbour’s house who was also pregnant. She took a fruit from a tree growing in her neighbour’s garden. The neighbour was infuriated. She unravelled her rage on the maid by yelling that these people who I wouldn’t want to touch anything in my house, how can they touch the sacred tree?  Now how will we consume the fruit? As soon as possible, the neighbour did a ritual of ‘Shuddhikaran (purification)’ to make sure the tree wouldn’t be polluted. You know what I was thinking if the neighbour was so concerned with the tree being polluted why she even allows that maid to clean her house. My simple brain cannot comprehend the complicacies of this hypocrite world.
This all made me question the advancement in our thinking. If we cannot even treat other humans with dignity where does it leave us? I can go on and on and talk about laws and sections that provide equal rights to all humans but they clearly have failed to even provide a few of us with basic living rights and respect with which every individual should lead their life. And in that women become much more easier victims.

21 thoughts on “Where is our so called New Thinking?

  1. Really liked how you wrote about such a sensitive issue of untouchability…. And also about how an incident in real life was enough to inspire you… Kudos to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very very well written n nicely put across …
    Makes me wonder r v truly progressive. V talk about starting human habitat n life on other planets …moon….Mars….but do v practise being human enough on d planet v ve Ben living on for ages …
    Are v open minded enough to understand that d very flesh n blood that makes us human makes everyone else too …irrespective of d jobs they have been bestowed with by d society….
    Appreciable thoughts apoorva

    Liked by 1 person

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