Malaysiakini Letter

Tyranny of the majority over the disabled

Dani Paranjothi

LETTER | I refer to the Malaysiakini article Ensuring the future of all disabled Malaysians which states that the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was on Dec 3.

Most of the time, people with disabilities, or shall I use the term "special abilities" are grouped as a minority. Due to that skewed notion, the majority sometimes are seen to disregard the needs and aspirations of this so-called "minority".

Hailing from a race-based minority community, I get offended by racial motivated thoughts, speeches and actions of the majority. It’s always some kind of inconsideration, violation, infringement and etc. The way I see it is the majority - with its full force - is bearing down the rightful voice of the minority. It’s unlawful, unjust and unfair!

Now, when I am dealing with people with special abilities, I am part of the majority, the tables turn and there is a significant change. Am I being conscious of my actions? Am I being responsible for my reactions? Some things in life are easier said than done, aren't there? I’ll reserve my answer for later.

Now, allow me to take you to take on a trip onboard a train of thoughts. Just imagine, one fine day you are commuting to your office. You realise that you are looked down on, frowned upon, ridiculed and laughed at. Most of the people that pass you, give you that strange look. Verbal abuses are the norm while insults and attacks are almost a matter of routine.

When you try to complain, you are not taken seriously not only by the law enforcement agencies but by your family and friends as well. The best piece of advice that they give you is that the abuse is "normal" and you have to take it with a "pinch of salt". 

Most of the time you are scared, you want to fight back but you feel meek and insignificant as if you are living at the mercy of others. Now, imagine that you are bound to a wheelchair.

These are the day-to-day challenges that our family and friends from this "minority" group of people with special abilities are facing. 

Are we, as the "majority" conscious of our actions? Are we being responsible for our reactions? Something things in life are easier said than done, aren't they? 

I believe I have answered the earlier question. I rest my case.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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