Q. "It is important to address not only the physical violence but even the verbal and structural violence, expressed in gender, caste and regional discrimination in order to become a peaceful society." Comment. (250 words)09 Jan, 2020 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions
- Explain what essentially constitutes "Violence".
- Explain the significance of addressing its various manifestations in order to effectively address it.
A peaceful society is essentially a society that respects the dignity of every section that constitutes it. Violence, on the other hand, is the projection of power by those who think they deserve to keep under subjugation those who are weak. It can be expressed in physical and psychological forms.
Just like physical violence leave scars and marks on the body of a victim, verbal and structural violence leave scars on the perceptions of gender and caste victim. The first scar is visible, the second one is felt.
Such a society becomes more prone to the struggle for power, retaliation for humiliation and resistance against any dominance. A society where a particular gender, caste or community does not feel safe, remains on the cusp of disintegration. It lacks unity and harmony and hence peace.
While physical violence is addressed by putting in place discouraging and punitive measures, structural and verbal violence are yet to be addressed via legislations and institutionalised measures in most societies of contemporary world. It can be addressed through acknowledgement, awareness, sensitisation and by creating the scope of mutual respect among the different sections of society. For example, while discriminatory practices based on gender, community or caste at a workplace can be appealed against in the Supreme Court of India for the violation of Fundamental Rights, the same does not provide protection against the skewed and unequal division of labour in enforcing gender roles at work.
Verbal and structural violence expressed in gender, caste and regional discrimination go against the very essence of peace i.e. social solidarity, mutual respect, fraternity etc. It, therefore, becomes very important to address this type of conceded manifestations of violence in order to become a truly peaceful society.