A Common Enemy.

No, I will not talk about the latest common enemy.  For me, the common enemy has been for many decades, the idea of “the other”.  Mind you, I am talking about the idea and not “the other”.

“The other” has been the bane of human beings from time immemorial and there does not seem to be any end to it, not at least in my life time.

Let us take the most common today.  Islamophobia.  A conference of some Heads of Islamic States was recently held to address this issue. This is a global phenomenon and locally in India, I have recently been reading some very explosive material on the alienation that the Muslims in India feel. The first one is this book from a young mother and the other is from two very knowledgeable and erudite Muslims of India.

All the three links given above will give my readers some idea about the problems faced by the Islamic world in general and the Muslims of India. I am particularly concerned about the latter as it can have serious repercussions in the next few years with Right Wing nationalism growing in India, Pakistan imploding and Bangladesh in an economic crisis. If the problems faced by the two countries result in a refugee problem in India, there will be a major upheaval which I would rather that did not take place.

Let us talk about some other kind of “Others”. Here is an instance of old people becoming the other. I would very much like to meet this worthy when and if he ever gets to be as old as the people that he suggests die for the cause.

Need I say anything about the biggest “Other”, gender?

Every community has its share of “The Others”, thanks to inadequate education of the different types of people, religions, languages, colour, appearance etc and prejudices and fear drive bigotry and hate crimes besides discrimination.

The latest in the line of many “The Others” is China, thanks to the Coronavirus. It is extrememly difficult to determine how much of it is fact and how much just fake news but, the damage is being done.

If we delve deep into our prejudices, we will find enough and more “others” to keep us discussing them till kingdom come. I have just listed a few here to give a pointer to the IDEA of “The Other” as being our number one Common Enemy.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 5 On 1 blog post topic. The other four bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, Padmum and Shackman and Conrad.   Conrad incidentally, is the original founder of the weekly bloggers group formed way back in 2009. This week’s topic was suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

21 thoughts on “A Common Enemy.”

  1. I really liked this take! I’m glad you didn’t take the obvious, because it gave more dimension to the topic. And, of course, your analysis of the other as our common enemy is spot on. It is perhaps the most universal common enemy!

  2. I’m glad you didn’t take the obvious, because you added dimension to the topic. You picked what may be the most universal common enemy! Great insight.

  3. My favourite “other” is “on the other hand …”. It is the devil’s advocate’s friend. Makes one hugely popular too. HA!

    As to throwing the over Seventies over board I can see the reason why some people may think along those lines. Only the insensitive will voice those thoughts. What I find disheartening, Ramana, that it’s always “others”. As soon as it is one’s OWN mother, father, grand whatever, sibling, friend – what do you know: One rather they’d live (unless, of course, you wished them dead earlier for reasons unrelated to Corona and its impact on the economy).

    On a general note in reply to your post: Instilled in me, from my earliest childhood, and one of the foundations my life and ethics are built on, that, first and foremost, we are all humans. Being human is what binds us, joins us, makes us all the same. Though yes, obviously, undisputedly, there is the Master Race.

    U

  4. I think you have done very well at finding the universal common enemy and many corrupt leaders have used it quite effectively. It presents interesting problems with both personal difficulties and interpersonal strife, but now is enhanced in many ways by a shrinking world.

  5. Excellent take on the most common Enemywe all face. It is that inherent weakness and all of us when we cannot except simple facts and try to place blame elsewhere

  6. well then … we obviously need an example!
    let our esteemed leader fall on his sword first.
    as I recall he is 74. not a spring chicken.
    as to the Lt Gov of the ‘great country of texas’
    and trust me. they think of it as a COUNTRY not a state…
    truly… is it more noble to die in the cause of GREED?
    fear and greed seem to be our REAL enemies.
    but what do I know? I’m just an old white woman.
    and I think you’ve said it ALL very well Rummy.

  7. Othering is appalling to me. We see it everywhere, elevating some, discounting others and their experiences. Money being god in this sad and sorry world we live. Unbridled greed. And yes we’re all guilty of it including yours truly. A nasty label isn’t it but we sit with out ipads and our full pantries and freezers while “others” starve.

    We may look upon these times as the best wakeup call we’ve ever had. There are no others.

    XO
    WWW

    1. Whether we like it or not, the current situation with the virus is indeed a wake up call and the kinds of “othering” taking place is appalling to me.

  8. Wow! I truly love how well-thought out this post was, and how many true points it made about life as a whole. Amazing take on the topic.

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