Hatred, stigmatism and ignorance towards disabled persons:
I recently came across a youtube video uploaded by NDTV which greatly disturbed me. The title of the video is “What’s Your Choice: Problems that people with disabilities face in India”.
A team of actors played out a perfectly normal situation where a father takes his teenage son for a birthday treat of ice-cream in a shopping mall. The boy is sitting on a bench and eating an ice-cream. His father is standing next to him. The boy seems to have some kind of disability that affects his speech and body movement. A lady comes along and see them and asks “Is it his birthday?” and she seems pleased to see the love the father has for his son. She then shares that she too has a son with similar disabilities and states that she likes to bring him to the mall. At that moment a “posh” and “well educated” middle-class lady, also sitting on the bench with what appears to be her teenage daughter, starts to object saying “How can you get such people like this out of the house?”
At this point, the first lady immediately objects to this the hateful and disgusting ignorance of the woman who had objected to the disabled child’s presence. Her ignorance continues to flow with statements about “past sins” being the cause of the boy’s disabilities, with other similarly ridiculous and ignorant arguments for the boy not to be brought out into the mall where she ironically says people should act with “decorum” (as though a mall was somehow a sacred space where we should behave in a very conservative manner). Her ironic lack of decorum continued until the cameras were revealed and the actors explained their social experiment in which she had revealed her incredible hateful and hypocritical and ignorant attitude.
Such social experiments are useful to illuminate the dark recesses of the social prejudice and stigmatism that festers in all classes including the so-called enlightened educated classes.