Sunday 19th Oct 2014
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The Electrified Image of Violence and Aftermath

Cover Story

, by MUSAB IQBAL

The episode of violence in Assam and Burma produced through electrified images in virtual spaces enticing the flag bearer of “One Ummah One Nation” is resultantly turning to be more disturbing. While in last few days the photos produced were challenged and largely established that they were morphed or photoshoped. Obviously, the language is speaking violence and every custodian of ‘Muslim conscience’ is asking others to “wake up” and “do something” exclaiming “Buddhists” as violent and Dalai Lama as blood sucking vampire for Muslims.

Moreover, it looks that this is not only adding to verbal construction of abuse but also a very controlled confusion working at someone’s behest. The rally and violence in Mumbai, Ranchi and Jamshedpur whose beginning point was this violence happening in northeast and cross border against “Muslims”. The other episode, which adds to cynicism, is through popular newspapers in South India and in Assam publishing that Assamese will be subject to target and then under the cloud of rumour and suspicion these residents of the state was forced to flee.

While one benefitting from these confusions and rumor industry is obviously the sangh parivar, which is at its disposal trying to give it a communal image and hence ‘safely’ taking these migrants to respective stations. There is no doubt on the idiotic act of “radical Muslims” the right wing forces will bank on and these image productions without understanding the history, politics, sociology and DNA of violence will affect the harmony and produce further more violence.

Anyone who has a sense of history and politics of North-East shall understand that these are not simple arithmetic of violence that Hindus kill Muslims or vice versa rather it is contestation for a long time for indigenous identity and claim on the land and resources through ethnicity. This is historical production of violence not necessitated only by someone’s faith. This, in turn, a generalised crisis that when an image – a stereotype image – is produced in any ‘disturbing act’ it invokes eccentric reaction from the immanent construction of the faith.

Is it always that a man with a skull cap on the head and beard sprouted on the cheek is attacked or chased due to his cap and beard or it can be much more deeper social tension beyond the symbolic sense.

Is violence symbolic or semiotic of unexplained, unexplored rather undebated intricacies leading to routine anxiety in a particular space?



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