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

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The Politics of Denouncing Violence


In the aftermath of the violence that erupted during the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, it is really interesting to note that the spokespersons, particularly from the ruling party, both in the centre as well as in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), have been at the forefront in denouncing violence. The denouncement of violence in itself may not look problematic as it is directed at achieving the common good, such as restoring peace or preventing conditions that seek to undermine the possibility of non-violence. The denouncement of violence against women and Dalits, for example, performs the moral function of making people socially vigilant about such devastating consequences both for human beings and material assets. Such a practice of denouncement, therefore, carries with it a moral force that tends to create a social condition within which a critique of violence can be continuously attempted. Consistency in denouncing all kinds of violence is therefore a morally necessary condition to make the critique of violence effective.

However, denouncement done in the name of the common good may not be without its problems. For example, the denouncement of atrocities against women and Dalits and mob lynching acquires varied expression both in terms of intensity and magnitude. For example, the denouncement of atrocities against “women” and Dalits finds its intense articulation among socially sensitive and morally motivated members of the Indian public. However, the denouncement of lynching finds its expression only in a few members of the moral community. Arguably, the denouncement, in the Indian context, follows a descending scale where it acquires a spectacular expression on the question of atrocities against “women,” while it becomes quite frail with regard to caste atrocities and lynchings.

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Updated On : 6th Jan, 2020
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