it is a simple word isn’t it , rational means having reason or understanding. Agreeing with something, it comes naturally and one does it without any effort.
It is not as simple as that if you are in a minority and you agree with the majority.
Take me for an example, I come from India to England a very long time ago. To me , India is a country I left behind years ago, to make a better life elsewhere, England to be precise, and that what I have done. This is my home , I have never hankered after being anywhere else,I love it here. And I say so.
Am told time and again that I think like White Britons! May be ; at times it is true that more rational thought might be coming from them, so I will agree with it.
Simple things like the Governments ‘s new initiative for community cohesion, they are putting a lot of money to make sure that everyone can speak English. On a recent radio phone one quite a few callers(Asians) were rather upset about it. to them it was another “conspiracy, attack” on Muslims.
I can narrate a lot of benefits for being fluent in the language of the country you are living in, but they are so obvious ; but there are those who want to resist the idea.
I have had some personal experience of this. During the election campaigns of 2010 and 2015,I was part of a focus group for the BBC’s News night. There were 100 of us from all over the United Kingdom. There were quite a few health professionals among them. Exchanging views and talking in general there was again and again discussion about segregation among communities, about Asian women losing out in employment and other benefits, simply because they can not speak the language. A report commissioned in the early 2000 said that nearly 100,000 Muslim women of working age were unemployed because they were not trained for anything and had poor to non existent communication skills. The health authorities in the area I live were worried that some Asian restaurant owners have young families, the women have never been to either ante-natal clinic or the well baby clinic , didn’t understand about childhood immunisation and could only be reached when the men were at home, which was late at night. I along with the female health staff tried to approach, that day the husband was in, he gingerly opened the door, took one look at me ‘ shook his head in dismay and said he didn’t want his wife to become like me!
What he was not considering is that the woman has no say, she couldn’t go to the GP to seek any treatment or contraception, even if there was an emergency she couldn’t call the emergency service and explain the problem.
Not to mention the amount the NHS spend on translations .
There are various such issues where it is assumed that whatever “they’ namely the authorities/government/ police are suggesting , because they are out to get us (by us, Asians, Muslims,assylum seekers, fill in the gaps), Not because it is needed.
The initiative “Prevent” has gone that way too. It is generally assumed that it has been put in place to “get at” people. I remember when a local liaison police officer was appointed for our area, she approached me and asked me if I knew other Asian/Muslim women. Thee are not too many but quite a few doctors here ,mostly from Pakistan. All decent and educated people. The women were totally against the whole thing! As far they were concerned , it was a case of them and us. How these notions are perceived and who initiates is beyond me, but i do know that the gulf has widened ,and there is less understanding ,simply because people do not want to, they rather believe rumours and whispers rather than researched and documented eveidence.
To me it is rational to try to understand what is being said ,irrespective of who is saying it, seems am alone in this thinking.
However much money will be spent on these community initiatives,I have my doubts that it will succeed, because a lot of those who should benefit from such schemes have closed minds and sadly have shut their ears and eyes too.
To me it is tragedy that hundreds and thousands of women have not had the same opputunitev me and my children have had, and that is pity.
And who knows how many more will continue to do so, because they are being told lies and made to fear a society they have never had the chance to engage with.
And that is a tragedy.