My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Monday, March 17, 2008

The aboriginal butterfly


Let me recollect reading an experience in which a person used to watch and enjoy the wonderful transition of a pupa into a butterfly. The dirty worm undergoes serial changes and then tries hard to emerge from the cocoon. Each time it tries it fails... and each failure inspires it to give yet another try! Finally, the beautiful butterfly emerges, throwing the viewer into leaps of joy!

One day, the person decides to lend a helping hand so that the butterfly will have little struggle for the whole task. But, alas, the easy but premature emergence did only harm — the wings were not fully developed and the creature that emerged was a dull, wingless, helpless, good for nothing. The entire beauty of the butterfly was a virtue of its untiring efforts to exit from its shell.

The story of the Australian aborigines is almost the same. The ‘whites’ thought they were lending them a helping hand by enabling them to ‘act white, speak white and think white.’ How has it helped them? It would be better to ask ‘to what extent it has harmed them?’

Let us view this issue from a different perspective. There is a beautiful concept called ‘adaptation’ which refers to the changes that a living thing undergoes to adjust to its surroundings. The world has diverse environmental conditions. The inhabitants take their own time and adapt their own ways to live harmoniously with their environment. That is why a camel has a hump on the back (food conservation), the cactus has thorns instead of leaves (water conservation), a penguin has thick flaps instead of wings (heat conservation) and so on.

Same is the case with human beings also. The complexion, physique, language and lifestyle of a person or race are the virtues of their struggle to survive in their habitat. These are the hard-earned callosities they have acquired from life experiences. It would be foolish to down-trod a population as ‘black’ since this complexion itself is an adaptation to adverse climatic conditions.

It would be stupid to humiliate an age-old culture, as each civilisation has evolved and is evolving slowly at its own pace, to enable the population to live amicably with nature. And here comes the ‘white’ to the empire of the ‘black’ to civilise them and teach the ‘ways of the fair-complexioned’!

But they forget that the ways of the whites are only suited in the land of the whites. The whites have given a premature delivery to the ‘aboriginal butterfly’ thus giving birth to a ‘wingless, helpless’ population. Now a third perspective on this issue is the loads of agony showered on the aborigines. Who will answer the depressed mothers, the emotionally orphaned (though fostered) children, the frustrated youth, the broken families, the humiliated culture, the inhumaned humanity and above all, the broken rules of natural existence and adaptation?

From space, Astronaut Sunita Williams could see no borders — no political, social, racial, cultural or economic boundaries — only the serene blue waters laced by pearly surf and interspersed with brown and green land!

When will the human race awake to this wonderful spectacle?

(The hindu, 16:03:2008)



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