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Ali Khan Mahmudabad's reflections on the Muzzaffarnagar violence.
Ali was a participant at one of CfP's workshops on Identity.
At CfP, we are struggling to address the underlying causes of violence, and believe
that all change must start with ourselves…
There is no way to write a history of violence. Perhaps the only thing
that can be analysed, however incompletely, is the context in which
the violence takes place. Unfortunately, this approach too has major
shortcomings, not from the point of view of an analyst or academic but
from the point of view of those who are affected by the violence. Part
of the reason for this is that in the arguments over religious identity,
socio-economic backwardness, ideology, political machinations, the
numbers of people killed, or injured, caste configurations, the importance
of class and money, the individuality of the victims are forgotten or
subsumed into a narrative that does not seek to truly address the issue
but just to further its own particular cause: nationalism, liberalism, secularism,
Islam, Hinduism- you take your pick. In trying to write the history of violence,
often the history of the future of the individual is silenced. The biggest tragedy
and injustice is that those who die, suffer or are uprooted are denied their
talents, denied their future.