I have been seen as a rebel. Especially where I work currently, as I stand up for or against quite a few things. As the corporate culture ambassador and an Anti Discrimination and Anti Harassment Committee member, I’ve always felt it is my duty. I know that there are some things I haven’t been able to change, but there are those I can at least try to change.
This morning, after an event, I put up the following status message on facebook:
Experienced first hand religious discrimination today, when I pointed out to my friend in the office bus that religious music should not be played, as we are a secular organization. He tells me “India is a Hindu country, ‘you’ people have encroached here”
Sad state of affairs in the country.
That friend did not call to apologize or retract what he said. Or to say anything at all.
The post attracted many comments from many who supported my stance – some strongly, and some who asked me to just let it go. None of my colleagues who are on my fb list replied to it, or acknowledged it. Which was fine. That was expected.
However, as the friend in question and I usually have lunch together along with the rest of the friends gang in the main building, I decided to not eat lunch there, and go to the canteen instead. [I am the only girl in that gang]
What saddened me however was that when I called someone else to inform that I will not be coming to lunch with them, I got an “Ok” before he hung up, with no other questions asked. This from the same person who pesters me with “Why aren’t you eating?”s when I eat 90% my normal quantity. It was sad, but I let it go then.
The others from the group also didn’t smile at me when they saw me.
I got back from lunch. An hour and a half later, after no word yet from the second friend, who I consider myself quite close – I decided why should I show my ego here, after all, I had no fight with him. So I call him over the intercom and this is how that went:
Me: Hello, are you angry at me or something?
Him: Why did you put it up on Facebook?
Me: I felt like it, so I did
Him: But that’s wrong no
Me: Boss, the one did the mistake was him
Him: I was sleeping then (in the office bus), and I didn’t know what happened between you two. You both should talk it out. You shouldn’t have put it on facebook.
Me: Well, he hasn’t tried to talk anything to me so far
Him: But you putting it on facebook was wrong no
Him: Okay bye
Now here I am, writing. Wondering
- - What about what he said? Was it so insignificant to all of you(office gang), that you think it’s all my fault?! That, I’m making a big deal out of it?
- - Did they ever consider me their friend at all? Nobody seems to care enough to even want to talk to me.
- - Did the friend in question really think he could say something like that, and I would brush it off?
- - To be a person with a social group, is it mandatory to be a social conformist who overlooks many flaws of the group, even those that sometimes personally attack individuals and groups?
There is a quote that goes “The person who wins an ego match is the one who loses”
Maybe some loses are worth the win. Collateral Damage. Or a sieve to find your real friends.
Who knows. Can’t tell.
The battle for Secularism will wage on.
I wonder how this more personal one will turn out though.