The Opinion
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The Opinion

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Injustices in the era of Globalisation

by Vaibhav Gaur

Ever since the beginning of life on this planet there have been various injustices irrespective of the spatial and temporal variations. These injustices have reflected themselves in various forms and places, and across different ages and genders. In the current era of Globalization and Deterritorialisation, injustices have also been globalised. Past injustices have also started emerging and resurfacing along with the new injustices occurring.

Injustices till now:

1829

When gold was discovered where the Cherokee Indians lived in the state of Georgia, in the US. This discovery led to, what one may refer to as, a trail of injustices and tears. Around 4000 people (nearly 1/4th of the tribe) died in the deportation processes. The Euro-American greed led to the mass homicidal deportation, an injustice which almost led to the extinction of the native Americans.

Stalin, in the then USSR, accused the Crimean Tatars of collaborating with Hitler. He expelled and deported those and sent them to exile. What came out next was the fact that nearly half of this deported population died en route.

1869 to 1969

The Australian Government took aboriginal children and placed them with white families. This, on the very first instance, might not seem to be an injustice to some but when we delve deeper, it comes to our notice that this was a prolonged step towards ethnic cleansing; trying to deprive and alter the ethnicity of the aboriginal children. The entire injustice is documented in a report by the Australian Human Rights Commission titled “Report of the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, bringing them home.

1850s

The injustice of the Lakota Sioux Rights to the Black Hills by the US Federal Government. Later when there was the discovery of gold on that land, another treaty was signed providing for giving away the land. What then followed was a court case and the US Supreme Court did give the compensation, but the people refused to say that their land cannot be compensated and neither the injustices done to them.

1947–2003
The rise of Hindu Nationalism in India has often led to injustices which have left blots on the face of the nation. A particular community targeted riots have become phenomenal in the country. Be it Jabalpur (1961), Rourkela, Calcutta and Jamshedpur (1964), Krimganj in Assam (1968), Ahmadabad (1969), Jalgaon in Maharashtra (1970), Aligarh (1978), Jamshedpur (1979), and the series of communal riots which occurred across the country after the Mobilization Campaign for Kar sevaks for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 30th October 1990, Surat (1992), Ahmedabad (2002) and the riots that broke out in Ayodhya after the Babri Masjid Demolition.

The DILUW Principle

Now when globalization has started taking a backseat for trade amidst the onset of trade war between US and China, the injustices and incidences of violence, against a particular community or in the name of religion, have been and are continuously increasing. They seem to be following the DILUW Principle of Globalisation:

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

D- Deterritorialization

I- Internationalisation

L- Liberalization

U- Universalisation

W- Westernisation

With increasing liberalisation the communication is much easier and the western culture is taken as something desirable, which itself causes a rise in disparities and takes the form of injustices with those not complying with them. With better communication, the boundaries now do not matter and the happenings in one corner are accessible to another corner of the world thus adding an international effect to everything; thereby completing the universalisation of the vicious cycle of injustices.

Have a look at the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, the Hong Kong protests or Vietnam, which is on the verge of Civil War, the injustices are on their upsurge. If we talk about India specifically, the recent clashes that have taken place in Aligarh, Lucknow and Delhi, there have been injustices.

The injustices have also seen the phenomena of GLOCALISATION wherein the history seems to repeat itself and what happens in one part of the world gets manifested locally in various ways and forms. For instance, the racial discrimination which was there in the US was also there in South Africa in the form of Apartheid; the discrimination which is in one part of the world with the women is reflected in another part as with the LGBT community.

Photo by Teddy Österblom on Unsplash

The injustices which happened with one ethnic group in one part of the world, the similar injustices in another part of the world happened with another group. Thus the injustices are always revolving and they get the cloak of localisation in the realm of globalisation.

After the injustices based on religion, ethnicity and those done in the name of upliftment, there are injustices on the basis of gender and apparently these injustices reflect globalisation in the purest form. In one corner of the globe, women do not have the right to vote while in another corner, they are not allowed to drive; in one corner women are expected not to go to school while in other they are subjected to the domestic violence

In one corner the LGBT community is subject to injustices and discrimination just because they do not fit in the very limited domains of gender and sexuality created by the patriarchal society while at the same time in some other part of the world, a male getting raped has no respite just because he is a male.

Injustices in the name of culture exist but the porousness of the culture is denied for them, be it in any tribe, community or, for that matter, any nation.

Culture is a very local phenomenon and, in a way, opposite to globalisation, but this is the very weapon used to reflect globalisation in the gender injustices. All the International Laws (CEDAW Convention, UN Treaties, Beijing Convention) just become a mockery when it comes to the globalised gender injustices.

Can Apology help?

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

Apologies for the past injustices cannot undo what has been done but they do have the power to at least to some extent soothe the pain of the victims. Apologies in themselves are the indicator of the acknowledging that there were injustices in the past. Recognising the injustices of the past, in 1998, National Sorry Day emerged in Australia and in 2008, the then Australian PM apologised for the stolen generations. Shortly after this, the Canadian Government also apologised to its indigenous people. The US House of Representatives in 2008, passed a resolution apologizing for slavery.

With apology, comes an implied acknowledgement that the history is interrelated to collective responsibility and that not only the prosperity but also the sins of the past are also being accepted. It brings with itself the idea of remembering the past that was horrific because the kind and the variety of oppression that one faces is to a very large extent affected by the past injustices.

Also, historical injustices can be enduring injustices (the original perpetrators and victims have died) and people may still be suffering from it. Liberalism talks of the concept that people can readily construct their own idea of the good but this concept and the whole theory of liberalism seems to fail when enduring injustices prevail. The enduring injustices may very often lead to the identity crisis and this gets even more grave when it is done on the basis of gender. However, there might lie a solution in liberalism and a time period of at least 2 generations be given but if the injustice still prevails, other solutions must be sought for.

The ongoing injustices could also probably lead to a problem of trust. It’s the opportunities and the rights of the citizens which are hampered in the injustices, which continue ever since and ultimately block the way to justice and equality. When the above-stated injustices are seen from the lens of enduring injustices it is found that a particular community is being subjected to fear, oppression and suppression and is denied the equal respect that others enjoy. This community would be different in different places.

This story was written by Vaibhav Gaur, Second Semester, B.A.LL.B.(Hons.), Dr. RMLNLU, Lucknow.

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