Don’t gen­er­al­ize re­li­gious val­ues

RE: Singh takes aim at sa­cred cows (July 28)

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

I take is­sue with the ti­tle of this ar­ti­cle, par­tic­u­larly with the word ‘cows’. The con­cept of cows be­ing sa­cred is a par­tic­u­lar be­lief that is held by peo­ple who as­cribe to the Hindu re­li­gion which is dif­fer­ent than the val­ues held by peo­ple of the Sikh faith to which Jag­meet Singh be­longs.

By in­ju­di­ciously class­ing Jag­meet Singh based on his eth­nic back­ground, the head­line writer has as­sumed all In­dian peo­ple re­gard­less of cul­ture, eth­nic back­ground and re­li­gion ad­here to the same val­ues and be­liefs (such as valu­ing cows) without acknowledging the di­ver­sity of the In­dian pop­u­la­tion.

Nu­mer­ous cul­tures and re­li­gions ex­ist among the South Asian pop­u­la­tion in­clud­ing Hin­duism, Sikhism, Mus­lim, Bud­dhism, Ju­daism, Zoroas­tri­an­ism and Chris­tian­ity just to name a few of the most fa­mil­iar cul­tures and re­li­gions. Jour­nal­ists should rec­og­nize that there is ‘di­ver­sity within di­ver­sity’ and that be­cause one per­son hap­pens to be of a South Asian back­ground, it does not nec­es­sar­ily mean that they should be un­fairly stereo­typed or that they should sub­scribe to the same val­ues and be­liefs of ev­ery­one that comes from their eth­nic back­ground. Elakya Balachan­dran, Hamil­ton

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