Opinion: “India Is Many Things, But ‘Ahimsavadi’ Is Not One Of Them”

The manifestation of violence in today’s India is now molding itself into a heightened sense of identity theme that has furthermore created a scene of ruckus.

India is secular, democratic, sovereign and many things, but “Ahimsawadi” is certainly not one of them. As evident by the ongoing socio-political scenario of our time, we can certainly say that we, as a nation, have left the ideals of Gandhiji far behind, or at best, modified them to suit our convenience.

Increasing violence in our society has become an everyday thing. The only change from the past is that now, it has transformed into every possible form of attack that can hurt the dignity of an individual.

The manifestation of violence in today’s India is now molding itself into a heightened sense of identity theme that has furthermore created a scene of ruckus. Domestic violence, sexual violence, mental violence (in terms of harassment and discrimination), state-backed violence, and so much more is making its way into the fabric of our society and tearing it into pieces leading to agony and human-rights violation.

Large-scale violence by the Police in the recently-debated CAA issue is a very popular example to verify my point. Moreover, we all know how bad the condition of our safety is when it comes to sexual crimes. Dealing with sexual crimes with their rampant occurrence has clearly shown that the Indian population is getting used to the retrograde patriarchal mindset. Delay in justice delivery, and low conviction rate in rape cases are some of the points to worry about. The latest data by NCRB shows that only 32% of rape cases ended in conviction. That is so so so abysmal.

We don’t really have to go very far to observe the violence embedded in our society. We can look into our daily lives and see people’s roadside manners and analyze it ourselves. Road rampage is the growing form of violence and intolerance that Indian society suffers from. People’s falling patience level and aptitude to reason well are also leading to an increase in violence-related incidents.

Mental violence in the form of harassment and unnecessary, hurtful comments and discriminatory behavior often go unnoticed. Still, it forms a considerable part of violence—that hurts not only human rights but also costs ones’ dignity and self-esteem. But it is so sad that this part of violence is not generally seen as “registered violence“. Our definition and acceptance of violence still hover around the physical form of hurt. Isn’t that a gross injustice?

I hope people come out and accept that even though we claim to be the citizens of an ‘ahimsavadi’ (non-violent) land, we are nothing but the stakeholders in everyday violence.

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