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"What past is past. Never go back, not for excuses, not for justification, not for happiness. You are what you are, the world is what it is”.

The above quotes by Mario Puzo always tends to lead me into thinking about how people posses specific traits, and how they project it in the society, and how people are what they are.  These traits, when percieved by others leads to the development of thoughts about a specific group of individuals, sometimes prejudged thoughts, forming stereotypes . A stereotype is often labled as a bane, but ironically that is not always the case. 

Stereotypes exist for a reason. I have been alive for 18 years now, have been brought up in a stereotypical society, watched certain people do specific things, and watched people behave in a specific way, and I have come to one conclusion, stereotypes exist because they tend to be true. There have been various claims stating stereotypes are false exaggerations and generalizations. I believe that everything happens for a reason, there has to be fire somewhere if there is a smoke, there has to be foundation laid to raise a building, and therefore I retract this claim and say that there has to be a tint of reality and truth for something being said, in this case stereotyping. Stereotypes such as African Americans being criminals, whites being advanced and superior, Asians being highly intellectual, Arabs being terrorists, would not have persisted over generations if there wasn’t truth hidden in there somewhere.

I am definitely not saying that all people belonging to the above categories are that way. We know they aren’t. But when you see  an Arab on your aircraft,  or a white at the end of your business deal, do you really look and think about the other exceptional half? I highly doubt so. This is not because we were forced to believe in that way, but because it’s the bitter truth.  

Stereotyping is an inextricable part of our lives.Everywhere you go, racism, fascism, communalism, has taken its place in each and every corner of the world. You’re helpless against these ideas. Knowingly or unknowingly you fall prey to them. It all begins with stratification and diversity. Once you start projecting people as being different than you are, thoughts develop, which eventually lead to the formation of stereotypes. Ever since Adam and Eve stepped on earth, stereotyping began its journey. That very diversification between man and woman, led to the attitudes of superiority and inferiority.

The question that has plagued us for many generations is if we can break this whole concept of stereotyping. I say no. It is human nature, and you cannot possibly change human thoughts or behavior. It is deep rooted in our culture and our ways of living. Do I support these social problems? Of course not. There is a fine line of  difference between having specific thoughts about a community, keeping them to yourself and actually going out and enforcing it on people. I just cannot help but tend to feel sorry for those who go pro bono, and try to change people’s thinking, trying to root out stereotyping. Bottom-line is you can’t.  It is next to impossible. The doors of the wiggle room for stereotyping have been shut a long time ago. We have to accept that we are not equals, we are born different. As long as there is medley, racism, communalism, fascism,  and stereotyping will continue to prevail and plague the generations to come, because at the end of the day, " We are what we are, the world is what it is".

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Written By Abhijeet Deshmukh

B.A Economics, aspiring civil servant, Young Bhartiya Core Team Member.

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