After narrating an incident of violence where a husband had reportedly blinded his wife in one eye in front of his neighbours, Nellie N Manpoong has rightly said, “May be it is time neighbours become part of the drama, and may be it is time victims stop being victims.” ~ in her thought-provoking article, “Silent bystanders” (Monday Musing, August 28, 2017).
Violence can be classified into two major types ~ 1) aggressor’s violence and 2) violence for self – defence or deterrence. It is mainly because of aggressor’s violence ~ the world has come to such a pass. Wars, rapes, ragging, abuse, bullying, lynching, murders, reckless driving, genocide, sadism and jingoism ~ all are ugly manifestations of it.
Unfortunately, cowards in us glorify violence. A soft spoken, gentleman is being pooh-poohed and branded as a weak person. To add insult to injury, some advertisements and movies are hellbent on promoting carelessness, callousness and cruelty. As a result, shouting, reckless speed – driving, utterance of foul language and slavery to liquor have been accepted by society as macho qualities. Indeed, these qualities have often been set as a benchmark for getting a certificate of adulthood or manhood. But they are invariably very intrinsic qualities of a coward.
As it is said ~ charity begins at home, we can and should clean out type-1 violence from our mind. We can make our children understand that the limit of one’s freedom is in front of other’s nose. Otherwise, liberty will be lost in a jungle raj where it is restricted only for the fittest brutes. If we can restrict type – 1 violence, then we will also automatically be able to check the type – 2 as the latter is but a reaction to the former.
As a matter of fact, so long as the type – 1 violence rules the roost, we cannot criticize the type – 2 which is for self – defence or deterrence. Recently, what happened in Kerala when a girl bobbitised an aggressor is a case in point. We should hang every killer rapist or at least keep them in jail till their death. This violence is absolutely necessary to counter macho or sadistic design. This type – 2 will act as a deterrent to type – 1.
Sujit De, Kolkata