The ‘everydayness’ of our violence

The ‘everydayness’ of our violence: India is a country that loves decentralisation and it covers almost every area. I will focus on the subject of tyranny. For example, look at our police stations. We do not need a Hobbesian sovereign...


Legalised violence

Apropos Shiv Visvanathan’s article “The ‘everydayness’ of our violence, (The Hindu, May 10, 2016), one, as a citizen, is indebted to The Hindu for publishing it, as normally the mainstream media, though enthusiastic about sensationalising isolated incidents(I am told they have an eye on increased readership/viewership data), generally avoid uncomfortable analyses of comparable events.
Though India might be still not under threat of the kind of tyranny referred to in the article quoting Hobbes’s hypothesis, the signals are far from comforting. One’s thought process gets paralysed when a peep into the past few decades gives evidence for support received by the agencies responsible for carrying out the acts of violence against the weak, from the ruling party or alliances across political denominations. It is in this context that the fear of suppression of uncomfortable facts by the establishment running through the article becomes real.
In the Indian context, citizen’s concern about violence does not get focussed for multiple reasons. The low level of literacy, multi-layer system of governance in which responsibility for national security, internal policing, education and civil rights is in different hands, contribute to this blurring of focus. That the enforcement of several laws concerning these aspects gets distributed among different authorities at different levels, make the task of even social activists working to help out victims, in various ways.
Judiciary with crores of cases pending before courts at different levels remain a helpless spectator making occasional observations about legalised violence escaping punishment.

M G WarrierThiruvananthapuram


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