Structural Violence In Society

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Human life in a society is surrounded by various social institutions, social relationships, social groups, belief systems, rituals and practices. These institutions, social groups have an influence on the humans and their behavior. Their thinking, perceptions about everyone and everything are all developed accordingly.
According to Galtung, cultural and Structural violence causes direct violence. Structural violence exists when some groups, classes, genders, nationalities, etc. are assumed to have, and in fact do have, more access to goods, resources, and opportunities than other groups, classes, genders, nationalities, etc. and this unequal advantage is built into the very social, political and economic systems that govern societies, states
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(Galtung, 1969)
‘Initially seen as driven by the basest of motives or lurking criminal instinct, the rioting crowd in history has been elevated in more recent works to the status of a social group with its own distinctive identity, interests and aspirations. The historians studying popular violence now looks beyond the blood-shed to ask why and how a riot happened, to see not just the catastrophe and chaos, but its underlying meaning and structure’ (Das; 1993:1).
According to Ashutosh Varshney, Civic engagement in civil society reduces communal violence and this is the main reason of violence more in urban areas though most of the population is rural.(Varshney, 2002) But the Bhagalpur riots negated this point in which more than 1,000 people were killed and over 50,000 were displaced. Despite of having strong civic engagement, Bhagalpur witnessed the most haunting violence of all
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Each of these factors contributes in the development of communal atmosphere in which even mild provocation acts as a fuel to the fire and causes unreasonable massive violence. These are political factors, socio-political factors, and economic factors, business rivalries. Economic factors and rivalry was an issue prior to the 1980s but now it does not contribute much. Over the years, political mobilization for electoral gains together with psychological barrier creation has become one of the most important factors leading to communal violence. Paul Brass (1997) in his book Theft of an Idol mentioned about an “institutionalized riot system” which according to him consists of a network of actors, groups, and connections involving persons whose primary concern is to keep a city or town in a permanent state of awareness of Hindu-Muslim relationships. These are “riot specialists”, who monitor day to day activities going on in the areas in which they reside or visit. They are the people involved in spreading false rumors and include people from all walks of life. These actors or groups are either affiliated to the political parties or religious organizations like the BJP, the RSS and the Arya Samaj. Calling for religious segregation and assemblies in different parts of India, the VHP, RSS, keeps on playing with issues like cow protection

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