Call it mindless violence


A take on what plagues our society

History repeats itself inevitably. As a tragedy, it takes the form of painful reminiscence, an instrument which teaches a horrifying course on violence. As farce, history shames and shatters fallacies. Taking liberty, one can ‘enrich’ the saying ‘History repeats itself first as a tragedy and then as a farce’ by adding that ‘further repetitions are just absurd.’ The times today are such.

Most of us are sadly oblivious of dreaded ghosts of the past. But, a slight acquaintance with two of them, Mussolini and Hitler, is good enough to make our ears bleed with the grinding noise of drums of their poltergeists. Fascism believed in a strong authoritative nation with citizens living under the scrutiny of the government and extermination being the penalty for dissent of any kind. The repetition of history as just absurd has had a violent resonance, constantly getting louder, in the last decade or so. The corporate globalisation with American and West-European hegemony has, as we have learnt the hard way, rendered millions of people homeless and desperate. But no stone was left unturned to convince the elite that globalisation was always a beacon of hope for them. Lifestyle, development and majoritarian-based equations of outlook on progress posed questions of livelihood and survival only for the poor and deprived.

But the absurdity truly struck recently with the global financial crisis hitting the people world over. With their Titanic sinking, the elite who believed in unquestioned capitalism, along with students who aspired to be in the global class of the rich, are foreseeing rough days ahead.

And with insecurity about the future, insanity also seems to be close at hand. It is petrifying to hear the youth of our generation, students especially, taking oath to “fight and stand-up against terrorism” under the umbrella of “spiritual leaders” and ‘patriots’. And it’s sad to see fellow-citizens of a particular community being attacked and humiliated and made to suffer a completely clinical social alienation.

Ashish Nandy said once, “I haven’t met a happy killer.” I suggest he think again. All he needs to do is get out on the street, where we walk with blood under our feet, oblivious to or silently supporting violence on certain communities in our society. The attack on pubs in Mangalore last week stands as a chilling testimony to our complacence to violence and our political ignorance.

(The writer is in second-year Master’s in Communication and Journalism, Manipal Institute of Communication, Manipal)

Recommended for you