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Violence in India

Over the last decades, India has been faced by different forms of violence thus threatening its peace and the security of the nation and its citizens. Most of the violence is caused by organized groups in this country. The government of India has been highly criticized for its laxity to take stern measures on the perpetrators of the violence in this country. Anti violence activist argue that the acts of some government agencies have enhanced or contributed to the increase in violence in this country since they allow violence acts to be committed against some groups of individuals.

At times perpetrators are granted permit to commit such activities. Some of the violence committed is justified as acts carried out to ensure peace, order and tranquility. One of the major violence that India is experiencing today is religious conflict between the Hindus and the minority Christian group. Other forms of violence include genocide, violence against women or domestic violence and inter countries conflict (Nussbaum, 2007). History and present situation of peace in India India has a long history of violence which dates back from the time of independence.

Some of the common violence during this period was violation of human right and violence against women. Women were and are still highly disregarded in India and cases of women violence and abuse were many in the earlier decades than they are today. Religious conflicts and violence was also evidence during this period. In the earlier years, India had a group which was referred to as untouchables which were made up of the Dalit who were regarded as outcastes or people of low caste. This people were highly discriminated and prejudiced by the Indians especially because they were from south Asia.

They were not allowed to gain access to jobs and education was also restricted to them making them vulnerable to violent acts. The Hindus considered this people as impure since most of their activities the Dalits were undertaking were “impure” as per the Hindu customs. This impurity was categorized as being contagious and thus this group of people were segregated and sometimes even killed by the Hindus (Nussbaum, 2007). One of the renowned peace activists during this era was Mahatma Gandhi.

During his life time, Gandhi advocated for non violence and acknowledgement and extension of civil rights as well as women rights. Mahatma is today celebrated all over the world for the role he played in abolishment of the untouchables as well as religious amity in India. The principles of Gandhi included truth whereby he advocated for introspection rather than engaging in physical fights. Gandhi was a political as well as a spiritual leader using this two perspectives, he argued that the best fight that a person could successfully win is learning to conquer his or her fears and insecurities.

This was meant to reduce the violence which was going on between the different religious groups thus ensuring peaceful coexistence (Potpourri, 2009). Nonviolence was also an important principle which Gandhi employed in his attempts to ensure peace and to minimize violence which was rocking the country during his times. Under this strategy or principle, Gandhi challenged the conflicting groups to stop their fights whether in the name of attaining holy liberty or for achieving totalitarianism. He argued that by engaging in eye for an eye battles, this would lead to the whole world being blind.

He was quoted saying that many causes were preparing him to die but there was no cause that was preparing him to kill. This he preached throughout India advocating for peace in the country. Most of the reforms which took place during this period in India can be attributed to his fearless condemnation of violence (Nussbaum, 2007). With the urge to reconcile the Hindu and Muslim doctrines, Gandhi practiced what was known as brahmacharya. This meant leading celibate life, drawing close to God and also having total purity.

Brahmacharya meant total control of sexual desires in the presence of the opposite sex. Though Gandhi was married, he did this partly because he was guilty of his father’s death and also to try to unite the Hindus and the Muslims. During this period, there was tension between the majority Hindu group and the minority Muslims and constant violence was being recorded. During his experiments, Gandhi slept with women with an aim of developing control over his sexual desires although such experiments sparked different reactions from his followers (Potpourri, 2009).

Gandhi went to greater depths in trying to ensure violence in India was totally done with. He sacrificed even his life for the sake of peace and lastly he was assassinated. He was one of the devoted peace ambassadors of his time and he contributed greatly to the developments in the country today. The religious animosity which was being experienced in India made Gandhi believe that the only solution could not be found in fighting but in the root cause which was religion and being close to God. He took long days of fasting whenever there were chaos in the country and he believed that this could solve issues.

Gandhi is considered the founding father of India’s independence and is highly celebrated as an ambassador of peace within the country (Nussbaum, 2007). Gandhi being a spiritual leader (a Hindu) and a theologian, he read extensively concerning the Christian, Hinduism and Muslim believes to enable him root out the religious division which were dividing the country. He believed that no religion was pure or correct or wholly acceptable. He but believed in practicing or being truthful as well as upholding morality was the real truthful religion.

As such, though a Hindu he tried to bridge the gap between all the conflicting religions in India during his period. His teachings are widely used today in dealing with religious differences in India thus maintaining peace in the country (Potpourri, 2009). After the death of mahatma, religious animosity which had persisted throughout his life time waned. However, this animosity was not totally eliminated as is evidenced by the many religious conflicts within the country. Also, although Gandhi advocated for women’s right recognition and an end to domestic violence, this is still a common form of violence in the country.

Forms of violence evident in India today Inter religious conflicts and other forms of pogroms are some of the major issue which has been threatening the peaceful coexistence of the Hindus, the Jews, the Muslims and Christians in this country. Hinduism is the largest religious group in India with Christianity being a minor religion. Differences in the beliefs and faiths of these two religious groups have led to heightened acts of violence mostly being committed against the Christians. Inter religious conflicts have claimed many lives of both the Hindus and Christian faithful and also destruction of places of worship.

People have also been displaced following such conflicts. For many years, India has been anti Christian and this is the main reason why inter religious violence has been tolerated with the government taking little initiative to end it. In Orissa region for example, churches as well as homes of Christian faithful were destroyed or torched with more than 200 Christians being killed from the Hindu attacks. During this attack, more than 16000 followers of the Christian faith were wounded and women were also raped during this ordeal.

Over three hundred villages were also destroyed and Christians were expelled from this region. Such forms of violence have been evident in India which has continued to threaten and destabilize the peace of this country (Nussbaum, 2007). Muslims have also been victims of religious discrimination and violence. Hindus have been pushing banning of other doctrines in the country and thus a creation of a country which is totally composed of Hinduism believes. The Hindu community use hatred speeches towards the Muslims thus heightening the tension and widening the gap between these two groups.

Muslims are more vulnerable to attacks from the Hindus and this was evidence especially following the terrorist attacks which were carried out in Mumbai. The Hindus aim is to “cleanse the country ethnically” thus eliminating the population of Muslims in this country. Such cleansing activities involve killing of the Muslims and torturing them. Muslim is considered a foreign doctrine in this country and the Hindus attribute the ills of the country as being brought about by the Indian Muslims. Such acts and misguided information have led to peace instability in this country (Sengupta, 2005).

Apart from antireligious conflicts, India is also among the countries where domestic violence and violence against women is most rampant. In India from the colonial era, women were lowly regarded and overworked. Violence committed against women includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and also psychological abuse. Women’s rights are highly disregarded which has led to increase in the number of riots being experienced in this country. Another common form of violence against women in the present India is that of female feticide. This involves abortion of a fetus which is usually based on sex orientation of the child.

Some men in the country force their wives to have abortion if the unborn child does not belong to a certain gender which a man wants. This has created tension in the country as more and more women are coming up to the open to fight for their rights. Such practices also hinders peaceful coexistence in the families thus the whole society (Brass, 2006). Peace in India is also threatened by the neighboring countries especially Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan is the largest country of Muslim worshipers and thus draws attention from other surrounding Muslim countries.

This country is also said to host and sometimes fund terrorists groups. India is thus faced with terrorism threats from Pakistan. In the year 1999, and Indian airline was hijacked by terrorists and was taken to Afghanistan. The terrorist escaped through Pakistan as well as Afghanistan and no arrests were made. Collaboration of the neighboring mostly Muslim countries with terrorists is a major peace threat to the country. Riots are other forms of collective violence being experienced in India which threatens the peace of the nation. Riots involve a group of people who are protesting against an issue.

Consequences of the riots in the country have been killings, burning and even looting of property in the area where rioters pass through. Riots in India are mostly communal riots which lead to communal violence. Communalism in India is rampant and various communal riots being held in the country. in the year 2002, communal riots were recorded which were between the Hindus and Muslim communities which left five people dead. This riot was sparked by what was referred to as a result of eve teasing and it amounted to the whole region being gripped by violence.

Over 20 persons were also injured during this communal riot. Communal riots in Gujarat the same period left more than 2000 individuals dead with many others being displaced. Communal riots are major issues that threaten the peace of India and their impacts are usually great ranging form minor looting to major and cruel killing of people. They spark from differences in communities and leads adverse effects to the whole country. Communal riots disturb the peace of the communities and the police are reported as taking no big efforts to stop them thus increasing the damage resulting from such riots (Engineer, 2003).

Genocide is also another form of violence that is experienced in India. Genocidal acts usually arise from organized pogroms and communal riots. Due to differences in practices and believes of the different groups living in India, genocidal actions are rampant based on such differences. Although the idea of untouchables which was being used to refer to the Dalit group living in this country, they are highly discriminated and abused. As per the a study which was carried in year 2000, every hour two Dalits are killed or murdered, two of their houses torched, about three women raped and two more assaulted.

This violence is perpetrated even by the police who are supposed to be peace keepers in the country. Such discrimination and genocidal acts have heightened the violence in India and also distorted peace stability (Mayell, 2003). Conclusion Violence persistent in India can be attributed to lack of stringent measures by the government to cub such activities. In the past, the government has been reluctant in fighting violence especially due to the different religious backgrounds and the fanatical believes individuals and government officials hold about their religion.

The police force has also been a major contributor to the violence which has been witnessed in the past. In some instances, police officers have been perpetrators of violence especially for the case of the untouchables. However, the peace situation in India has improved over the years as the different communities as well as the government have taken initiative to reduce violence. Violence has a major and persistent threat to the productivity as well as peace maintenance in India. India is among the largest countries which have been faced by issues of violence based on ethnicity and communal differences.

For violence to be fully eliminated in the country, the government and the police force should be at the fore front. Strict penalties should be imposed on any perpetrator despite his or her religious orientation. Ensuring law and order in the country would help reduce violence. Reference: Brass, P. R. (2006): Forms of Collective Violence: Riots, Pogroms, & Genocide in Modern India. ISBN 8188789399, Published by Three Essays Collective Engineer, A. A. (2003): Communal Riots – 2002. Retrieved on 13th March 2009 from, http://www. sacw. net/2002/EngineerJan03. html. Mayell, H. (2003): India’s “Untouchables” Face Violence, Discrimination.

Retrieved on 13th March 2009 from, http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables. html. Nussbaum, M. C. (2007): The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future. ISBN 0674024826, Published by Harvard University Press Potpourri, K. (2009): Mahatma Gandhi Album: A Biography. Retrieved on 13th March 2009 from, http://www. kamat. com/mmgandhi/gandhi. htm. Sengupta, R. (2005): Communal Violence in India – Perspectives on Causative Factors. Retrieved on 13th March 2009 from, http://communalism. blogspot. com/2005/05/communal-violence-in-india_14. html

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