Th politics of violence was the easiest in the times of the kings and the feudal lords. The politics of violence is very easy to understand: Whoever has more power than others can and does use his resources illegally and/or immorally to frighten the logical side of the weak. The violence, therefore, need not necessarily be physical. It can take any form which can have the effect of frightening the logical side of a person and thereby restricting the logical thinking ability of a person. Though I have strong reservations to the Domestic Violence Act of India, I do admit that the definition of violence is best enumerated in the DV Act. The violence, as defined in the DV Act, includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, economic abuse and emotional abuse.
The best example of physical abuse can be found at http://tehelka.com/story_main50.asp?filename=Ne020711Beat.asp; of sexual abuse in Thailand, where a whole class has been made sex workers; of verbal abuse in the Indian sub-continent, where the classiest of abuses are flowered on weak people, esp women, at the first available opportunity, and now the Indian movies are institutionalizing it; of economic abuse in the acts of the corporates/businessmen, who enslave people for peanuts; and of emotional abuse in the life of Stephen Hawking, who was not even allowed the uninterrupted company of a nurse. Of all the above, the last category of abuse, i.e. emotional abuse, is the worst because it attacks the mind directly and is the most difficult to counter-attack — I am in awe of Stephen Hawking, who has not let his logical thinking get deterred in spite of all the emotional abuses.
There is no doubt in my mind that the only answer to a violent attack is a violent counter-attack. Some people may have very strong inherent resistance to violence, so they may not counter-attack, but, if given an opportunity, the most would attack in some from or the other.
Of all the abuses, the easiest abuse is the physical abuse, both for the strong and the weak. Rather it is the only escape available to the weak. That’s why I say that the politics of violence at the times of the kings and the feudal lords was the easiest. The kings and the feudal lords just had to do as much physical abuse as necessary to rule, and the weak could out-power by doing a little more.
However, with the advent of democracy, things have changed. The law has become important. Physical abuse, more often than not, has to be in line with the law as wished by the law makers and as enforced by the law enforcers, and, when it is not, the repercussions are exemplary. The sexual abuse against a woman often gets intermingled with physical abuse, and it would not be wrong to say that sexual abuse against women is equal to physical abuse against men. The violent counter-attack against the two forms of abuse in the form of self-defense is well-recognized under law; however, the other forms of violence have, more or less, gone unnoticed. The law, in no country of the world, has reached a stage where it can take care of all kinds of violence. Rather some of the most developed states like the USA and Canada perpetrate economic and emotional abuses. The USA is notorious of suppressing the second generation human rights and is actively involved in abusing the third generation human rights (via global warming) of the third world countries.
However, the biggest threat to the rights of people at large is the invasion of their privacy. No form of violence, whether be it physical abuse or sexual abuse or verbal abuse or economic abuse or emotional abuse, can be perpetrated without infringing the privacy of a person; however, economic abuse and emotional abuse must have the long-term institutionalized invasion of privacy, and these two forms of violence fall completely outside the purview of law in practice. Thus, the best way of ruling today is by infringing the privacy of the people at large. And the powerhouses of the world, whether the forces or the corporates or the politicians, are presently busy laying out the infrastructure for institutionalized invasion of privacy. For example, presently, the Indian government is collecting biometric data of all Indians under the garb of AADHAR and NRIC, i.e. the National Register of Indian Citizens (Re:Minority Report – an Indian Adaptation). The most developed country in this sphere is, undoubtedly, the UK. The large-scale invasion of privacy leaves no option for the weak but to enslave themselves voluntarily with the powerful; and the majority, thus, end up adopting the ways and manners of the politicians; and a well set hierarchy of ruling elite is, thus, formed, in which no one is happy.
I really don’t know what stage is better: the stage we have reached today or the stage that existed at the times of the kings and the feudal lords. Though I am not sure, but I think the opportunities for violent counter-attacks by the weak are far lesser now. At least, I, in spite of being a lawyer, have not been able to find the opportunities for violent counter-attacks in this age of complete invasion of privacy.
© 2011 Ankur Mutreja