Global citizenship – considering oneself as a part of the global village all the while maintaining allegiance and respecting cultural values.

With the technologically advanced networking, faster travel options, and globalized economy, the world has now become a village. Just like a geographically small neighborhood, in the global village, everything we do has rippling consequences.

Even with such an advanced civilization, the world is still struggling with primitive aspects like racism, gender-based violence, flesh trade, delayed justice, and so on.

The recent Black Lives Matter protests have gripped the world, triggered by the murder of one man, George Floyd, by four police officers in Minneapolis.  The murder of one man had global ramifications because of the prevalence of racism worldwide. A long history of racial prejudice, and the endurance of systemic racism meant that one death resonated with millions. These systems exist everywhere, subtly, yet powerfully, entrenched in the way we live.

Regardless of gender, nationality, race, and allegiance, every human being deserves basic human rights. The rights to free speech, to marry who you want, and the gainful employment are just some of the rights we must protect in order to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to live a happy life.

When we bear witness to such injustice, we must ensure that the burden of educating ourselves about oppression does not fall on the oppressed. We must join the oppressed in fighting to end their oppression. We must use our positions of privilege to aid the underprivileged.

In the case of George Floyd, the police officers abused their power, their position of privilege, to punish, not to protect.

Nowhere in the world should the police be empowered to physically assault citizens they claim to protect.

Likewise, the primitive Indian caste system and the Governmental policy inclusion of that system creates systems of privilege, domination, and exploitation. These systems may give some of us power over others, but this power is not to be abused. This power must be used to aid the oppressed, the aid the underprivileged.

If you are a high caste family and someone from your family is in a relationship with a low caste person, shunning that person based on their caste alone is a violation of human rights. Likewise, if you are a Dalit beneffiting from inclusion quotas, it does not grant you the right to mistreat a high caste person under you due to the crimes of their ancestors.

Such values should not be included in our lives as a measure of curbing consequences, but to civilize ourselves as humans. The sooner we realize we are part of a big system and everything we do has consequences, the closer we get to peace and harmony.

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