Politics of Justice: Equality & Equity

The worldview and praxis of Equality and Equity advocate for the end of hierarchy. Fundamentally, this is the goal of any revolution to topple structures of elitism and classism that cause societal divides. While equality aims to ensure that everyone gets a fair opportunity in order to have a full life, equity involves trying and empowering people with what they need and not what others think they need. It is while understanding and addressing the causes of inequity that the need to engage the power is realized.

 

The interplay of Equality and Equity invariably gives rise to contextual notions of justice and fairness, which, in turn raises, the need for affirmative action. The next step is making a qualitative shift from the polarizing politics of rights to a unifying politics of justice.

 

So the praxis of Equality and Equity is a powerful and revolutionary force toward becoming fully human, including full equality and equity of all humans. The recognition and application of this full humanity, as well as full equality and equity of all people is essential for us to experience a shared humanity.

 

For too long the powers have labeled and categorized humankind as a means to divide and rule over them. These labels and categorizations actually are at the root of perpetuating conflict through our language, as they regiment our thinking, attitudes and behavior. They define our understanding of the world around us and create expectations and assumptions on questions of status, privilege and power in society that shape our reality. It is these misleading and prejudiced labels that create images of the other, to fear the other and to look down on the other and to assert power over the other in different forms.

 

The praxis of Equality and Equity clashes with all forms of power including institutionalized power. In direct terms, it critically questions who defines power, who holds power, how power is exercised and for what purposes and towards what end.

 

Today, we Nagas need to reflect on how we are going about addressing differences and competing interests. In order to realize our full potential, we need to be grounded in what it means to be in relationship with one another and the world around us.

 

In reality this will depend on our individual inner work, as much as on what we can do in the world around us. It depends on how we go about listening and embracing all the diverse stories, knowledge and aspirations and synthesizing a pathway to our future.

 

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