If you said that you were a man of peace, and didn’t have any violent tendencies at all, I’ll doubt your authenticity. I will be forced to judge. Sure, you can speak eloquently and show impeccable manners, and flaunt a highbrow sense of elitist humor. You can disdain anarchy, political upheavals, and bloody revolutions; or murder and torture, but you know your pretensions, my friend. A man of high moral values indeed! A joke! Either naïvety masks your rage, or you sublimate, or you’re an absolute hypocrite.

Examine yourself, and you’ll know where you lie. I listen to old men prattle about ‘double standards’, and scumbags, without any lucidity of who they are. It’s either that, or they’re wife beaters feigning ‘class’.

The anger isn’t always active though; it’s often passive. It’s bottled up, and hence the rant about how some people are degenerates or drug addicts without a cause. Or it’s racist hate that the man secretly keeps, while he preaches equality. Or it’s so hidden, that the man comes across as the ideal ‘gentleman’, obedient to his wife’s demands, while he secretly loathes her, and that’s a disgusting habit that’s hard to break.

It’s better to have an overtly debauched vulgarity, than an overtly passive one. Now, I’m not endorsing crime, but I’m saying that an angry man who knows his situation can change, while one who keeps it inside and denies it will never possess the necessary insight that’s the first step towards rehabilitation. So, sublimate, write fictional violent pieces, but don’t act it out. It’s not worth it.

But does violence solve anything? In extreme cases, it does. How else to put down a dictatorial, authoritarian, totalitarian regime except through a violent revolution? Peace doesn’t always work. You don’t have to agree with this. And yes, I believe in just war. If your country is unnecessarily invaded for no fault of its own, then it’s the duty of the ruling party to defend it at all costs. I also believe in another kind of just war which helps emancipate a completely subdued people under the rule of a lunatic who thinks he’s God. But this needs a subtle approach. Drone strikes, or innocent people butchered only defeats the cause itself. Finally, we come to self-defense. Yes, in cases where your life or the life of a loved one is threatened, I believe you should defend yourself or them. But I don’t believe in teachers carrying guns, or preachers with weapons.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

8 Replies to “On violence”

  1. A profound piece Nitin, and I basically agree, and your last line is superb……

    ”But I don’t believe in teachers carrying guns, or preachers with weapons.”

    1. Thank you so much. You should watch this show called ‘This is America.’ It’s about a guy dressing up as different characters and talking in different accents interviewing crazy people in power. The first episode featured him as a right wing Israeli fundamentalist interviewing republican senators and asking them to endorse children from the age of three onwards to carry guns to school. Most of them agreed and laughed about shooting the ‘bad guys.’ I know it’s supposed to be comedy, but I found it terrifying that there are people who think that way!

    1. The Middle Eastern revolutions and the Russian revolution are violent revolutions gone wrong. They just led to one dictator replacing another, or religious fundamentalists taking over. That’s a problem with revolutions as a whole though. Often people end up embracing communism or fanaticism, and that only worsens the situation. It’s always either the right or the left. A well balanced political system rarely exists.

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