Hypocrisy is an attribute prevalent in all humans. We say something and do quite the opposite, sometimes without even realising it!

We talk of beauty lying beneath the skin and yet we find women — and men — buying ‘beauty' products that promise a lighter skin tone.

Their adverts shamelessly declare that unless you are fairer, everyone will look down upon you. Their makers rely on our insecurity and make a fortune out of it. If these products really worked, racism would never have entered the dictionary.

We put up lights during Christmas but how many of us even acknowledge Eid? The subtle changes in behaviour towards different communities almost always go unnoticed.

This happens despite Islam being the second largest religion of the country. ‘Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai' has been a gimmick since the days of independence. Muslims are yet to get the respect they deserve.

And last but not the least, the eternal saying “men and women are equal in every field”. Really? In every field? How many movies with a woman as their lead has Bollywood shown us? Even if such films are released, they get tagged as ‘offbeat'; something that the normal public doesn't like. All normal public likes are skimpily-clad women seeking protection in a man. It has taken us 60 years to move a woman's bill. In Saudi Arabian courts, a man's statement is worth two women's. America, with more than 200 years of democracy, is yet to have a woman president. How can we still claim that men and women are equal?

These instances and several others show that subconsciously we are still the same narrow-minded fools. Had we really believed in what we preach then the world would have become a far better place to live in.

(The writer's email is riabera@yahoo.com)

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