Prejudice and bias — subversion of power

Subversive potential of prejudice and bias furnished on the idiosyncrasies of gender, culture, language, religion

Hafsa Bashir February 07, 2021

Purity of any opinion, judgement and emotion is a facade. Nothing prevails as value free or unbranded; neither idea nor its interpretation. Every precept is colored with the tincture of peculiar prejudice or bias; be it political, persona, social, racial, economic or sectarian.

The philosophy of prejudice and bias is an intense subversion of power as it is capable of designing the diameters of others’ destinies. Divorced from conviction, reason or logic prejudice and bias play ruthless and illegitimate at times.

Subversive potential of prejudice and bias furnished on the idiosyncrasies of gender, culture, language, religion and race has rendered an illusory tint to the whole idea of human nature. A belief in the innate basic principles of human nature has been mitigated by the overwhelming and subversive impact of prejudices and bias. The sovereign human uniqueness has been immensely compromised owing to financial and class system. A big part of South Asia is still struggling with grappling cast system.

One of the innumerable self-imposed imprisonments of our times is the one schemed by the accentuation of judgments. Bias is the chief architect of the penitentiary haunted by prejudice enforcing every single human behaviour inadvertently judgmental. It renounces any liberating, inclusive or empathetic understanding of the other. Emancipation from this confinement can be fancied with a rigorous regime of tolerance and inclusion.

None of world’s vicinity is pure of prejudiced or biased treatment of affairs and humans but many have been successful in regulating those to a larger extent. The formidable rule of law and its implication lessens the gravity of the affairs in those parts of the world.

The whole scheme of prejudice and bias is curated to render discriminatory practices as justified gestures. Pride and patronising come as bi-products of these practices that eliminate any chance of reason or conviction in the realness of affairs. Clouded and blinded by these, our judgements not only creep others out but also crawl into our own consciousness to malign the innate essence of compassion and endurance.

Prejudices range from top level of international relations between nations to the lowest level of domestic dealings. To enumerate few of the most rampant ones we find ones like an educated or empowered woman is a threat to domesticity or society or at least bears a mean streak to herself; a never ending comparison and contrast with distinct attributes towards career oriented and homemaker women. Education system is a giant object of bias owing to variant curriculum and consequently the financial viability. Brands are the new alternative dimensions of the biased behaviors.

Religious and political prejudices are the most intense with no room for tolerance. Political exploitation in the name of royalty and feudal system has made the common man believe his innate slavery. He never grows unbiased towards his plight or the ruler’s tyranny. The utter submission to political royalty is another crude and subversive play of bias and prejudice.

We expect or rather tag a certain nation or community to behave in a certain way like Punjabi, Muhajir, Sindhi, Baloch and Pathan. Racial prejudice is as old as ever and never fails to malign. We have to mention people by the colour of their skin and stereotyping otherwise we won’t be honest so to say. Physical attribution or body shaming is being called out a lot recently but still it has penetrated into the entrails.

Language is another pivotal instance of prejudice leading to diverse ethnic, educational and economic panorama of biased behaviour. English is by far the highest form of elitism socially as well as culturally. Intelligence or intuitive capabilities get swayed by accentuated levels of subversion of language. Employment opportunities are massively overwhelmed by the irrational prejudices and ingrained biases. Real talent hardly gets to achieve what it deserves.

Positivity of creative prejudices can’t be undermined as they endow every human or concept an individuality. Being less judgmental towards other’s faith, race or region doesn’t renunciate one of the individual attributes rather it renders compassionate side to it. The point of contentious debate is how to co-exist without being judgmental. We ought to prefer to give rise to a generation carrying the burdens of development and prosperity not of the subversive judgments.


Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2021.

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