“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” – Charles Darwin.
We often witness a lot of injustice in the world. Even though every human being is entitled to fundamental rights, social hierarchies and cultural prejudices keep some people from exercising these rights. Sections of society—often minorities—spend their whole lives struggling for bare necessities, while some others might be lucky enough to live with relative ease and comfort.
Let’s face it. Life can be unfair, and sometimes downright brutal. People of the lower strata of society struggle to get quality education and employment. Women, even in this day and age, fear abuse at the workplace, on the streets, and even at home. Individuals who don’t conform to socio-cultural gender norms face hostility, even as they strive for acceptance in society.
So, what can we do to address this problem? To begin with, we can acknowledge the injustice of it all and work towards changing it. We can empathise with those who are enduring such unfair treatment and help them lead dignified lives. We can become their allies, offer support and solidarity in the fight to create a fairer world.
So, who is an ally? A man who actively challenges sexism at his home and workplace, and also within his friends’ circle, is an ally. A straight person who participates in pride marches organised by the LGBTQ community and publicly vouches for their rights is an ally. An ‘upper caste’ individual who fights for ‘lower caste’ candidates’ right to education and jobs is an ally. A business owner who hires indigenous artisans for a fair salary and benefits is an ally. A city-based activist fighting for farmers’ rights is an ally.