ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Confusion about 'Violence'

For the last two to three decades I have seen “violence” become an abstruse subject for umpteen numbers of learned articles and treatises. This, I believe, is the product of a positivist mindset, which becomes immersed in an uncritical contemplation of violence per se. There are no probing questions on who perpetrated the violence and why? It thus becomes something like a meteorological phenomenon, apparently arbitrary and unexpected, but devastating in effect.

On the face of it, violence appears to be a general condition of life that defies diagnosis and remedy, like age, disease, and death which are supposed to have sent the Buddha away from home in search of an explanation. The Buddha found an answer in his philosophical theses, but modern experts and connoisseurs of violence do not care for one, so rooted is their faith in violence as a feature of human destiny. The electronic media seem to reinforce the scholars’ fixation. Any time one switches on the TV there are mind-boggling stories about hordes of famine-stricken refugees from a war-torn land, terrorists killing scores of innocents at one blow, and massacres in caste conflicts in India. But such narratives normally pass over communal riots started by powerful majority communities with the police as passive onlookers and security forces using automatic rifles to mow down crowds of civilians in insurgency-hit areas on the merest suspicion of guilt.

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