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

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Responding Justly to Suffering

The state must ensure an equal and just response towards all acts of social suffering.


How does the state respond to the phenomenon of suffering? Should the state value the suffering of certain social groups and individuals as higher and more important than that endured by others?

Several instances of caste-, gender-, and religion-based atrocities were reported in various states like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh in the last couple of weeks. The nature of crimes against the most marginalised people does not have to be tied down to the time cycles of the elections. Following the brutal rhythms of the workings of social inequality in our midst, instances of atrocities are reported so routinely that their occurrence has seemingly numbed the responsive capa­city of the state and the civil society at large. Yet, the state is not entirely unresponsive to the question of suffering and violence. What one witnesses is a selective and unfair orientation of the state towards the suffering of some people as being more valuable than others. The state’s bias in this regard is duly amplified by the mainstream media whose spectacular coverage of matters that invoke deeply traumatic memories has the consequence of further ebbing our societal capacity to respond justly to suffering.

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Updated On : 2nd Apr, 2022
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