Understanding the co-existence of violence and democracy | The Hindu On Books podcast

One of the big promises of democracy is that it would solve – to a substantial extent – the problem of violence. It is commonly held that one of the differences between barbarism and civilization is that barbarians tend to kill those they hate or disagree with, whereas civilized folks resolve their differences through dialogue and negotiations – that is, by non-violent means. The highest form of such a civilized society is liberal democracy – the kind of democracy our freedom fighters had in mind when we got independence in 1947.

But with independent India about to turn 75, we find that violence is endemic in Indian democracy. So how do we reconcile this story that we tell the world – of India being the land of Buddha, Ashoka andn Gandhi, of India being a civilization that practically invented non-violence, as it were -- with the widespread proclivity for violence, ranging from road rage and gender violence all the way to communal riots and encounter killings?

It is this difficult question that Prof Neera Chandhoke, a political science scholar, explores in her new book, The Violence in Our Bones: Mapping The Deadly Faultlines Within Indian Society.

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 12:27:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/podcast/understanding-the-co-existence-of-violence-and-democracy-the-hindu-on-books-podcast/article37061984.ece

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