We have been an independent nation for more than 70 years. In the early years of the post independence era, the various races worked hard to develop the country. The progress that we see and enjoy today would not have been possible if not for the hard work of our forefathers.
As the older generations would attest, race or religion was never an issue. Our country was, in fact, a fine example to the world on how racial and religious tolerance should be. However, of late, there have been some disturbing developments that threaten our unity in diversity.
The time has come to find ways and means to strengthen relations between the various races and prepare ourselves to face the multiple challenges as our nations progresses. Racial unity should begin at home. Since parents are closest to their children, they should be at the forefront and sow the seeds of racial and religious tolerance among children. Parents should encourage their children to mix freely with their peers of other races and religions. This will allow children to understand the different traditions and cultures and be tolerant of those from other faiths and beliefs.
Once parents are able to instill values of racial and religious tolerance among their children, it will take off naturally. Schools are the best places for students of different races to mingle freely without prejudice and suspicion. Students should learn about the different festivals their friends celebrate, their rites and rituals and their places of worship. It is only when they understand how others live will they also know how to treat them with respect and understanding. There are numerous activities in schools that provide opportunities for children to integrate such as sports and competitions.
The various festivals celebrated by the different races are excellent opportunities to sow the seeds of unity. The concept of open houses is a unique feature that augments unity. The intermingling of the various races will contribute towards enhancing national unity. Despite more than 7 decades of independence, the country is still grappling with issues concerning race relationships. we must remember that these decades of nation-building can be erased if we allow racial tensions to build. Unity among the various races is vital for the progress of the nation as the saying goes, ‘Untied we stand, divided we fall