ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Victim’s Complex Predicament


The editorial in the current issue of EPW makes two important points. First, the prompt response to the recent atrocity that has come from the ruling government in Madhya Pradesh is motivated by the need to control the damage in the ensuing assembly polls in 2023. Second, and perhaps a much deeper issue, is that the tormentor, while enacting the obscenest act, does not distinguish between an “object” with life and one without it. The editorial under reference rightly attributes the tormentor’s cognitive failure to the foundational disposition of humiliation that is at the root of caste practices. In line with the thrust of the editorial, it is perhaps important to understand the victim’s predicament that has a bearing on the intensity of the heinous crime that is inflicted upon humanity in general and the victim in particular.

As has been visible from some sensitive sections of social media, the intensity of the atrocious act resulted in paralysing the victim who, as a result, was beaten into a stony silence. As it is clear from the visuals, the victim’s body had shrunk in diminishing self-worth as a dignified human being. This silence could be understood in the context of the social dominance and political arrogance of the upper-caste person who was the tormentor in this case. It is needless to reiterate that it is this entrenched power that usually explains the victim’s somewhat smothered, if not completely silenced, response to the experience of humiliation. Does this suggest a case of a complex predicament? Why is it a complex predicament?

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Updated On : 22nd Jul, 2023
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