Amartya sen identity and violence the illusion of destiny pdf

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amartya sen identity and violence the illusion of destiny pdf

Book review: "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny" by Amartya Sen

The victim was "a profusely bleeding unknown person suddenly stumbling through the gate to our garden, asking for help and a little water. He was Kader Mia, a Muslim day laborer knifed by Hindus. He had been asked by his wife not to go into a hostile area of then-undivided Bengal. But he had to feed his starving family, and he paid with his life. To the young Sen, this event was not just traumatic but mystifying. How was it, Sen asks about that murderous year, that "the broad human beings of January were suddenly transformed into the ruthless Hindus and fierce Muslims of July"? And how was it that Kader Mia would be seen as having only one identity — that of being Muslim — by Hindus who were, like him, out in the unprotected open because they too were starving?
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Amartya Sen Reads from Identity and Violence

Profound and humane, Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny examines some of the most explosive problems of our time and shows how we can move towards peace as firmly as we have spiralled towards war.

Identity and violence : the illusion of destiny

By Amartya Sen. Particularly since September 11th and the global War on Terror that followed, Huntington's claim gained widespread support both among the public and the policy world, even though most academics considered the idea to be worryingly simplistic and based on shaky evidence. As Richard Betts writes , "even practical policymakers who shun ivory-tower theories" are influenced by Huntington's ideas. In Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny , published a few years ago, Amartya Sen goes further and says Huntington's idea is dangerous and must be roundly rejected: "A major source of potential conflict in the contemporary world is the presumption that people can be uniquely categorized based on religion or culture. It is no coincidence that at a time of heightened sectarian tensions in India, Huntington is frequently quoted by leaders of the right-wing movement Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh RSS , for he crudely defines India as a "Hindu civilization", even though the country is home to almost million Muslims, more than nearly every country in Huntington's definition of the "Muslim World". Is he a Twitter-savvy technocrat obsessed with boosting development for all India by slashing red tape, wooing foreign investors and building a modern digital economy?

Norton, pp. Norton, , pp. Each is a measured attack on the cultural separatism prevalent in many academic and policy circles. According to the cultural separatism thesis, cultures or nations are morally central groups in the world; membership in such groups is both ethically significant and explanatorily powerful; and the borders of cultural and national groups must be preserved against outside influence. This thesis is rejected by both Appiah and Sen, in subtly different ways.

Similar experiences can produce very different philosophies. Witnessing the Russian revolution as a child in Petrograd, Isaiah Berlin saw a crowd dragging off a struggling man, pale and terrified, to be killed.
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