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The central concern of these readings was to discuss the social movements that campaigned for the rights of indigenous people throughout the world although The Indian Rights Movement, being a leading movement, shows that the focus of these movements was the indigenous people of Latin America. A. Brysk’s book Turning Weakness Into Strength discusses the issue of these marginalized humans and explains the emergence of the movements to demand justice. The other reading is the UN resolution which was passed in 2007 to protect the basic civil rights of the indigenous people universally. This resolution acknowledges the native Americans or the so-called indigenous people equal to the rest of the citizens of the prescribed regions. It seems that the indigenous people have this privilege after being suppressed and oppressed by the foreign colonizers for centuries who have now full authority over the lands of these natives. Brysk notes that the movements for the Indians coincided with the end of the Cold War and the proclamation of New World Order. Globalization got a blow after this incident and Transnationalism enabled the indigenous groups to speak for their rights.
I was surprised to learn that despite having a population more than 40 million in Latin America, the indigenous people are alienated and suppressed by the governing authorities. They have a noticeable share in population, but they have no share in the social activities. Discovery Channel sends its reporters to the huts of these people to make amusing video clips, but they are not welcomed rather allowed to enter our social system. They have no place in our administrative institutions, schools, and parliament. Brysk has made a credible analysis about the pathetic state of these people. He calls them the poorest, the sickest, the most suppressed community on the face of earth. They have been being exploited for centuries in their own lands and no strong law exists to protect their basic human rights although they are exposed to every horrible threat by both the civilized world, and the wild beasts. The other thing alarmed me was that the only non-binding resolution that was passed to protect them to some extent was opposed by the most developed countries: the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. They all have experienced the agonies of the colonial age, but they still do not understand its impact on the indigenous groups. I intend to learn more about their current situation through from the book of Brysk. Apart from that I would give a thorough reading to the resolution passed by the UN to analyze its credibility and reliability. The modern man has landed on the other planets, but these people are still struggling to survive like wild animals. I would also study the book of Brysk to learn about the movements and the indigenous leaders to understand their point of view.
I have been challenged to examine the so-called universal truths that our policy makers have established to protect their alien interests. We claim that the homo sapiens have reached to the zenith of civilization, but I do not understand this type of civilization where our brothers are groaning under the rocks of our brutalities. I also, being the product of this society, used to look at these people differently until I read the mentioned literature. We present our one-sided claims about these people which have nothing to do with their feelings. It is not what civilization demands. We must embrace our brothers if we believe in diversity. The issues are not resolved by othering any community. If we consider them uncivilized because they lack education, we should expose them to the opportunities to get education. Brysk’s book has made my mind grow and acknowledge the differences of the Indian. Before preaching peace and the theory of co-existence to the third world, we should have given the indigenous people their just rights.
I am still wandering the how the civilized countries like the US, New Zealand, and Canada could vote against the resolution which was passed to protect the basic human rights of more than 40 million people?
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