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Diversifying Diversity

While diversity’s current focus centres predominantly around gender, sexual orientation, race, age and disability issues, its case for equal opportunities for all is indeed noble and much desirable. Yet, there is more to diversity than meets the eye. My endeavour would be to start warming up with anything ranging from a case for the F1 women drivers; travel insurance for cancer patients; digital divide; an emerging order around the BRICS; new language pattern et al. Occasionally reaching to exceed the grasp and venture into more esoteric areas. And how can I not be affected by the Climate Emergency that we have brought upon ourselves?!

Now take for instance, the idea of “One country two systems” that Comrade Deng Xiao Ping enunciated (as a rationale for co-existence of Hong Kong within its fold) was far wider in its ramification. It went beyond the increasingly pink, rather than blood red communism, of Mainland China and the throbbing capitalism of the Colony. Home for the most flourishing gambling haven (Macau); manufacturing hub of the world; fountainhead of the Chinese diaspora that is slowly but steadily, both virtually and physically, beginning to grip the worldwide web as well as the real globe. Perhaps also a crucible for an alternate new world order, whatever that it will be!

However, the most profound understatement, in the field, came from Premier Jawaharlal Nehru. “Unity in diversity” sets out to deal with many a simmering melting pots. March of philosophies; languages; races; religions; strife; economic dominance; colonialism and revival. Christopher Columbus first arriving on the shores of America sounds like only yesterday, and all this will continue to simmer as long as mankind exists.

A kaleidoscope not limited to set patterns. That is what to me is diversity. I shall attempt to scratch the surface and explore various forms that become obvious to me. At times a wake-up call, for my ex-industry and the risk profession, which tends to take longer to change than others.

I must thank my Institute (http://www.cii.co.uk) which gave me a wonderful opportunity to think, understand and contribute, in this field, by virtue of my membership (latterly the Co-Chair) to the Diversity Action Group (DAG). There are several people who have encouraged these ongoing experiments. However, the one I owe the most profound influence is late Chandrakant J. Patel (CJ). A most amazing wordsmith and human.

A precocious writer – as an undergrad he edited the ‘Stephanian’ for his College. Among many upcoming authors was also his junior – Arun Shourie (a chance discovery for me). CJ ended up studying journalism both at London School of Journalism and Columbia. His project at the latter involved covering the Biafran war. I ran into him when he was experimenting with an English eveninger which gave me an opportunity to moonshine. Thereby write anything everything I could imagine. Art, architecture, archaeology, wildlife, birdwatching, nature, sports, travel and much more. His coaching was my bonus!

In the conventional wisdom, two is company and three is crowd. Two or more is actually diversity. Moreover, one plus one can be more than two, in diversity! That is what makes this such a fascinating exploration.

I invite you to join this challenge and facilitate this endeavour towards newer manifestations.

Best regards,

Praveen

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