What is the point of violence?

August 29, 2007 at 3:26 pm 4 comments

burnt containerEver since I moved back to Pakistan I have noticed that some people are driven to burning buses or cars or taxis or setting shops on fire whenever they are upset about something.

This photo was taken on the main road a little distance from where i live. I hear that the drivers of two container trucks were driving like maniacs and were involved in an accident. I don’t know if anyone was hurt or killed. But apparently some passersby got worked up and set fire to the two container trucks.

Whereas I can understand the anger at the rash manner in which these drivers drive their vehicles and the accidents that often result, I do not know what benefit is derived from setting them on fire. Violence only begets violence. Strict adherence to traffic regulations is what is required. If only our police could get their act in order and if only we as citizens would learn to be more responsible, things would begin to change. Why is it that the same taxi and truck drivers and the rest of us seem to adhere to traffic laws in the Middle East, the Far East and other countries? Is it because we know we won’t be allowed to get away with it?

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kinkminos  |  August 29, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    yes, it is because we know we won’t be allowed to get away with it. the strictest of laws are ineffective without strict implementation of them.

    violence [sic] of the type you describe is, as often as not, the result of frustrations which have little or no outlet. so while the cause of the frustration is usually something else, random events can trigger a violent response, esp where the perpetrator can find a moral justification for his (or her) actions (like the the example you cite).

    Reply
  • 2. kashifalvi  |  August 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    one problem out of million Pakistan faces is impatience which leads to accidents and other mishaps.Traffic police needs to be fixed and before fixing them we need to fix ourselves, if we are right than i m sure they can’t be wrong.

    Reply
  • 3. hira khan  |  August 29, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    we blame the police our government ..everyone….these people are common pakistanis…they are not aliens….which means we would have to agree with mr kashif alvi….and we really need to change ourselvz

    Reply
  • 4. Vic  |  September 2, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Shab-e-baraat night and its enthusiastic celebration all over the subcontiinent had its tragic side. On the one hand, in Mumbai, the police threw up its hands and said they could not manage any effective crowd control because there were too many people on the roads, but there were no unpleasant incidents.

    In Agra, however, a truck ran into an autorickshaw killing four young men. Mob violence that followed got one more young man killed, the city is still seething, although the temporarily closed Taj Mahal was reopened to tourists by the next evening.

    The title of this blog entry is “What is the point of violence?”, but all too often the people who turn violent have little else to fill their minds and time. Because society allows them little else, and in many forms gives subtle (more than subtle, at times) encouragement for it.

    Yes, we really do need to change: we don’t need to change ‘those people’ but ourselves.

    Reply

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