Wednesday, March 5, 2014

‘Violence is the only effective weapon available to the people who are oppressed.’ How far do you agree or disagree?

Violence refers to creating terror in people by using threats, weapons and so on in order to intimidate the people and thus force the government to fulfill certain demands. It is, thus, generally taken as the effective weapon, to make governments obey them, by the oppressed people. However, it is not the only alternative available to them. Peaceful revolutions, appeal to the international organizations and communities, garnering support from a powerful political party, or even forming one’s political party are among the effective alternatives at the disposal of the oppressed people.

Peaceful revolution or movement is one way to stage protest against the oppression. History has records of many such revolutions which have been successful in bringing political change. French revolution is the one to be very famous which was successful to establish democracy by demolishing the monarchies and the rule of churches. Similarly, the peaceful movement led by Mahatma Gandhi against the imperialism of British government in India is another example of revolutions which was effective to free people from oppression.

Appealing to the international community or related international organization is another great way to end the oppression of government. There are different types of organizations which work for different causes like humanity, sexism, racism, ageism, human trafficking, and many other forms of oppression. There is United Nations Organizations which works for promoting international peace and justice. If the demands are genuine such organizations help to create pressure to the government to not oppress its citizens. Similarly, foreign governments also pressurize the government in many cases to follow the acceptable norms. In many cases, these pressures have been successful to bring results. Therefore, taking help of such institutions is an effective alternative available to those who are oppressed.

Similarly, they can join a political party and induce it to put forth their issues to the government. Political parties whose principles closely match those of the oppressed will generally respond well to such issues. Similarly, opposition parties also normally take such requests seriously, even if it is for their own benefits. Many communities in Nepal have sought this approach and have got results effectively.

Also, the oppressed people can combine their agendas and can even form a political party, especially if the oppressed community is large. The party will exercise political power and try to fulfill their cause. This option is viable and effective to the people of the majority of democratic countries of the world. If the demands appeal the people, they will vote for the party and provide it a chance to rectify the oppression.

However, the problems persist in the non-democratic countries like Cuba, North Korea, China, etc where staging protest, forming political party, exercising politics, etc are illegal. Moreover, such countries mostly turn deaf ears to the international community and organizations. In such cases, probably violence is the only weapon, be it effective or ineffective, left for the oppressed people. However, because violence has its own cost, the oppressed should carefully consider the cost and benefit before thinking about violent rebellion. In some cases, it would still be wiser not to choose violence.

All in all, violence is not the only effective weapon available to the oppressed people. As discussed above, there are many other effective weapons on hand at their disposal. The decision regarding which alternative to choose, based upon its effectiveness and their purpose, is completely up to them.

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