#TMOV (The Mystery Of Violence, July 25, 2015):
Are you angry? Do we have a terrible love of war? Is it possible to think of violence without the teleological means-end schema? Why don’t we have a phenomenology for it? Is it because violence is the ground shared by enemies? Why don’t we manage to look inside ourselves for the source of violence, and often project it on to the Other? Why do even the worst of perpetrators represent themselves as being the victim? Does violence lie at the end of speech? Is today’s victim tomorrow’s offender? Do shame and humiliation turn us towards violence? What then is the agenda of punishment? How can we open up the victim’s silence? How can we access the scene of violence? Is the aggressive drive essential to human survival? Why do the under-trials expect the Judge to at least hear them out? Is hatred a revolutionary sentiment? Does militarism (love for war?) run across modes of production? Is crime (merely) an act by which one runs the ‘risk’ of taking punishment? What is the future of the act of policing? What is the distinction between violence and brutality? If violence becomes increasingly non profitable in the future, might society then need to invent violence for ethical reasons? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions, about the nature of violence, using concepts from criminology & justice (Prof. Vijay Raghavan, TISS, Mumbai), history (Dr. Dilip Simeon, ex-University of Delhi, New Delhi), and philosophy (Prof. Sanil V., IIT Delhi, New Delhi).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TMOV show.
Prof. Vijay Raghavan (criminology, social work) is Professor with the Centre for Criminology and Justice (CCJ), School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. He did his Master’s in Social Work with Specialisation in Criminology and Correctional Administration and his Ph.D. in Social Work from TISS, on youth involved in organised crime. He is a founder member of Prayas, a field action project of the CCJ, which has been working since 1990, around protection of legal rights and social re-entry of criminal justice clients, in particular, under trial prisoners, released prisoners, children of prisoners and women in commercial sexual exploitation. He has been involved in training of police, prison and judicial officers both at the state and national level on issues such as gender, human rights, prisoners’ rights, correctional laws, anti-trafficking, and re-entry of crime affected persons. His primary research interests include custodial justice and prison reforms in post-colonial societies, social work intervention in the criminal justice system, and penalization of poverty, especially the homeless and nomadic and de-notified tribes.
Dr. Dilip Simeon (history) is a historian based in New Delhi. From 1974 till 1994 he taught at the History Department of Ramjas College, Delhi University. He also worked as a research fellow with Oxfam (1998-2003) and as a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (2003-2008), where he was engaged (as he still is) on a philosophical study of violence and nihilism. He has lectured at multiple campuses in India & abroad, including the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy for IAS and IPS officers, Mussoorie. He has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Surat, Sussex, Chicago, Leiden, Princeton, Gottingen and London (SOAS). He has published extensively, on historical and political issues in various newspapers and journals. Dr. Simeon’s first novel, Revolution Highway, is based on the early history of the Naxalite movement. It was published by Penguin India in September 2010. Dr. Simeon had joined the Naxalite movement in 1970 and left it in 1972 in the wake of the moral and political crisis engendered by the Bangladesh war. He has worked on the theme of communal and other forms of politically inspired conflict and violence ever since exiting from the Maoist movement. He is now a trustee at the Aman Trust, which works to understand and reduce violent social conflict.
Prof. Sanil V. (philosophy) is Professor of Philosophy at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi. His areas of interest include philosophical investigations into art, science, technology, cinema, biology, literature, social sciences, revolt, violence, hate and revenge. His recent publications include ‘Vastu Purusha Mandala: Myth, Meaning and Measurement in Ancient Indian Architecture’, ‘Time Passing: Kant Goes to Movies’, ‘On Hating One’s Own Children’, ‘Thought and Context: Philosophy on the Eve of Colonialism’, ‘Mathematical Idea and Cinematic Image’, ‘The Mirror and the Mask: On the Technology of Philosophical Machines’, ‘Why Eyes are not Enough: French Thought and the Lure of the Visible’ and ‘Chinthavishtaraya Zizekkum Srenivasanum (Thoughtful Zizek and Srinivasan)’. He was the Watumall Distinguished Professor at Department of Philosophy, University of Hawaii, USA (2010). He was also a Charles Wallace Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool, U.K and Directeur d’études Associés, at Maison des sciences de l’homme Paris. Besides publications in English, Prof. Sanil writes in Malayalam on 19th and 20th century social movements, secularism and culture.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TMOV mentions: Jeremy Bentham, Cesare Beccaria, George Orwell, J. G. Ballard, James Gilligan, Erwing Goffman, James Hillman, & Ulrich Beck, among others.