A thought for the untouchables

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 5 June 2009
It has been twenty years since the popular east/west Berlin wall was pulled down. Indeed, it has been twenty years of reunion and progressive move towards development, here in Germany. We are also celebrating six decades of civil rights, which have offered better chances for women and children, more attention to discriminations against people with handicaps or belonging to the LGBT movement, among others. Both achievements were achieved not on a platter of gold but through the sweat of those who chose to speak out, rather than die complaining or in silence. For example, in the 60s we had a strong political youth movement,here in Germany, where students started revolutions against the government to raise their voice officially. Although it created later an active way of violence and death, the beginning and reasons for demonstrating was noble and could still be honoured. This and many other activities are milestones on our way to ‘freedom’ and peaceful co-existence.

But this has not been the case in many countries all over the world. All over the world people are suffering from disciriminations and criminal denials of their basic rights. Even here in German all is not a ‘bed of Roses’ story as we are still talking about differences and discrimination between men and women, between social classes and other groups. But it is a long term process. Maybe a similar start is already done in Asia, Africa and the Carribeans, but compared to the German step there might be need for more ‘speaking outs’, and networking for change.

The fight against discrimination of the untouchables, the seperation in different classes, is still a high political and social problem in many countries of the world. For that reason, IHEU is focusing our attention in the beginning of June to examining this issue. The Untouchability Conference will take place from 9th till 10th June in London and will offer ample opportunity to people coming out of that class or working in these areas to make their problems visible and to give them again an official voice to the public space.

There are always questions and questions in our mind and maybe we do not find answers directly after raising them, but it is much worthful to start thinking about such questions than never raising one about our being, about our behaviour, about our world. For in questions lie our desired answers, which will enrich our ‘speaking outs’ that will change our world!

With regards from IHEYO.

Silvana Uhlrich

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