Prejudices can be defined as the preconceived opinion that is not based on reason. Oliver Goldsmith, an Irish poet and essayist, in his essay “ Pride and Prejudices” has rightly maintained that a prejudiced mind is dangerous for the society. He is of the opinion that I would like to call myself the citizen of the world; rather the citizen of a particular region. Apart from this, there are prejudices in cases of religion, castes, education, etc. In case of nationalism, he is an internationalist. He wants us to rise above the narrow parameters of judging anyone’s nationalism or patriotism without knowing the details. He says that a true nationalist can’t hate the nationalists of other countries. Being a nationalist, doesn’t mean that we are going to hate others. For him, a true nationalist welcomes others and tries to look at both sides of the coin. Oliver says that the most dangerous threat to the peace of the world is pseudo-nationalists. They can never be understood. They can leave anytime their country in danger when they are needed the most. It is the view of a person who has travelled a lot and has experienced the different people. He tried to know the loyalties of people. He was curious to know why people loved their countries over others. In this perspective, let us know our position.
In in the Indian perspective, a majority of the population are Hindus. They consciously or consciously have made it their habit to judge every Muslim by the same standards. One Muslim’s poison can be some Muslim’s honey and vice versa. It reflects back when an arrogant Hindu makes it possible to use slang or foul language against his or her religion. In this situation, we make our mind that all the Hindus are arrogants while all the Muslims are terrorists. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorists are present in every community of the world
Second is patriotism and nationalism. Patriotism is the necessary characteristic of a citizen. Without it, he or she is not fit to be called a human being. But nationalism is a thing to be avoided when it takes extreme form. It is the extreme nationalism that resulted in the death of crores of people, destruction of property, environmental pollution, injury to billions, spreading of deadly diseases, etc.
Third is found among castes. The Brahmins among the Hindus and the Sayyids among the Muslims, are to be respected and to be made leaders. This is the worst distortion of history, religion, humanity, etc. A Brahmin can be a cheat while a Shudra can be morally fit. In the same vein, a Sayyid can be a deceitful person while a Dar can be ethically uplifted. This mindset has been prevailing since long. It has hampered our progress. The best way of achieving success is to learn something from every person, state, country, nation, etc. Limitations are everywhere but the best way is to correct them. There is no logic in uttering the things that have no base and hurt the common benefit of the universe.
We come across these situations daily. It is painful when the prejudiced leaders become the leaders. I deliberate upon the truth, mediate a while and find that we have miles to go to be like Oliver Goldsmith, who loved to be called the citizen of the world.