What Identities do to YOU?

Based on the master and slave morality of Nietzsche, I have heard a professor explaining that Masters have a religion, that valued themselves and Slaves have a religion that devalues themselves. Religion is one of the many identities that we possess; depending on the context and type of people you are, the impact of different identities vary. So as a person with different types of identities and each one influencing in a different way, it is good to analyze what the identities do to us?

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was a visionary in the Indian political scenario, working for the emancipation of the Dalits (older untouchables). He realized Varna system in the Hindu religion couldn’t be abolished and it was impossible to have a complete emancipation within that religion. He checked the possibility of Christianity and Islam, but was not happy with them. He finally got converted into Buddhism and many of the Dalits imitated him. We need to critically evaluate the benefits of such a conversion, but it was an attempt to move from an oppressive identity to a less oppressive or more egalitarian identity.

Poor, uneducated and unemployment are some of the  other identities which tremendously affect you and the availability of opportunities for you. (It is true that many have overcame all such tags and achieved greater things; but it is a minority within the people who have such tags). These tags automatically push you to a lower rung of the society and it is not easy to rise. We see in the modern world that rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer; inequality is increasing. These identities can stifle your growth. What we could do? They should be encouraged to pursue the goals with dedication and commitment and the right policy decisions from the part of government should happen to address these issues.

LGBT is another identity of a section of the people and this identity is being used to differentiate people, to harass people in different parts of the world. Whether you eat beef or not (beef is an important source of protein for many people for the poor), is another identity created in present day India and those who bear this identity have to suffer at the hands of Hindu extremists. Gender and race are also stereotyped identities in many parts of the world. Most of the above mentioned identities are intimately connected to those persons and their life, and you can’t take it away from them. It is high time that we show sensitivity to people whose identities are radically opposite to ours.

Untitled-1Nietzsche would invite us to throw away those identities which are enslaving me, which are not allowing me to become authentically ME. But he may also (I guess) invite people to accept such identities of others which are diametrically opposite to one’s own.


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