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The Creed of Violence



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“When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.”
Oscar Wilde
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History is witness to how we have used any accessible means, including violence, to achieve political goals. The study of changing times and places, however, shows every situation catapults stances that demand new game plans. However, there is an imperfection in yielding to these alternative tactics, as we have seen in Manipur, where chronic depression has torn apart the social fabrics. The reasons are diverse, and unfortunately, no solution are in sight. The conflict is sometimes observed as an inherent process of social change. At times, it crosses the fine line, coming down to organised crime, although those activities are often given a political orientation.

Violence has become a global phenomenon — in the past century — growing in alarming proportions across the globe. In the West, people conform to the belief that nonviolent action is the foundation on which the political and social justice movements are built. Still, there is no scepticism either, vis-a-vis political violence, playing a crucial role in advancing the struggles. The complication arises when there is no contrast between patriots and profiteers.

The resistance movement for self-determination, in our state, is one of the major dynamics shaping our contemporary history. The proponents, who are spearheading this crusade, profess that violent means could take us to a utopia. Sovereignty, according to them, could be restored by taking up arms against the establishment. But how much valid points are there in their argument? The very basis and the superstructure that they have been relying upon are besieged with greed and corruption, whilst unbridled brutality is taking its toll day in and day out.

Does the killer ape theory, which posits hostilities and aggression are rationale for our evolution, really holds true in our society? A couple of centuries ago, most of us were living as primitive groups. The difference between organised crime and political violence is that the former exists for economic gains, while the latter for political pursuits. However, the confusion between these two entities implies that we are violent for the sake of violence. Insurgents have regressed to ordinary criminals in their fight over assets, as we can see in their various schisms and factions. Their distasteful commercial activities sell out the principles on which they have came into existence.

Nonetheless, there is another interpretation: violence as a means to coerce the people into acquiescence. On the one hand, it is downright fallacious in our time; yet it appears acceptable apropos the loutish psychography of the people (plus the barefaced, yet gullible electorates) on the other. In this regard, the state government are a partner with the insurgents in obliging the people through extra-judicial and dubious means plus the untold human rights violations. The knee-jerk reaction of the masses, taking recourse in sit-in protests and defying curfew rules, hardly makes any difference. It is the zenith of human decadence when civil society could be compromised with kickbacks.

However there are several questions left to be answered. What differentiates the revolutionaries from the mafia? What have prompted the ingenious entrepreneurs to take interest in political matters? Why and how does the state have aggravated the situation? The answers may seem apparent, though it is not glaring as it seems to be. It's not only about those Merger Agreements and the standstill agreements, but it's also related to the history of Manipur; and how we are progressing from a tribal society to a modern community. The killer ape theory is certainly valid in our state.

According to James Mensch, a Canadian professor, "When politics becomes a 'competitive sport', when the political and the economic spheres are conflated such that the recognition, which functions in economic competition becomes the model for political life, the space for political life diminishes." He added, "Correspondingly, the possibilities for preventing political violence also decrease. To prevent such violence, this space, which is essentially a moral one, must be kept open".

We need to usher in a multidisciplinary understanding of the impetus behind this barbarity. Those founder rebels, with a cause and hurt by the troglodytic leaders, promised us for a just and equal society. But so far, the worms of anarchism have eaten into the brains of our wretched society, leaving everyone in the lurch. There are hazy roadmap they had built their ideals on, and blatant misadventure in a jungle, where everyone is the lord and no-one is the master simultaneously. Why should the people suffer for the dimwittedness and duplicity of the antecedents is the feeling, afflicting the man on the street. It is undeniably true, if there isn't any paradigm shift in the present agitation, the movement would sink like a stone.

Mahatma Gandhi commented,“It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.” However, it is condemnable when violence is committed with impunity and is used as a means to acquire personal gains. The populace is discontented in a world guided by hedonism and barbarism, whilst a significant section lives in privation and an elite group lavishes in castles. It is an extremely sick situation, providing a benign ground for more revolts, ammo smugglers, and unscrupulous leaders ( read Ibobi-type ministers). With prolonged conflicts and confrontation, Hegel’s description of history as a 'slaughter-bench' is the locution that can best describe our time. But ultimately, what we need is a new social order sans violence and corruption.

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“Violence isn't always evil. What's evil is the infatuation with violence.”
Jim Morrison
“Democracy don't rule the world, You'd better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that's better left unsaid.”
Bob Dylan ___________________________________________________

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