The Violence of Silence

One of the most violent forms of violence is silence. In the face of compelling unjust circumstances, silence becomes violence itself. While it is true that silence can be a powerful medium of protest, one needs to get past this irony in situations of injustice, violence and dehumanization. The deafening silence with great effectiveness only breeds into the vicious cycle of physical and structural violence and in the end, it is the silence that sustains the status quo of indignity. 

The violence of silence has a lingering and traumatic effect. While violence is the manifestation of deepening crisis caused by varying issues, silence is what encourages suspicion, distrust, hate, intolerance, insecurity and fear: the seeds of violence. Silence is disempowering and prevents consciousness and causes human to be indifferent to the realities. At its core, the violence of silence steals a person’s moral conscience.

Today, when we look around, one can see the violence of silence take its toll on the lives of Naga men and women. The tragic irony keeps unfolding itself and it is so acute that one can feel its presence. It’s a silence that takes away ones desire to live a full life. The violence of silence is indeed deafening and dampening to the human desire and will to resist being drawn into a vacuum of cynicism. The violence of silence is frustratingly complex and hypnotic. 

Consequently, young people are becoming increasingly alienated and the society is in real danger of losing the next generation of leaders. People begin to lose self-respect and they have stopped knowing what it really means to have self-respect and to have hope. At the very individual level they have stopped thinking and understanding where they are supposed to be going. This has only led to confusion and chaos. The violence of silence strips away the right of ownership and conditions a spirit of conformity that accepts the abnormal as the norm. 

Nagas will have to rediscover the need to begin working hard and to take responsibility for the problems of their nation. Difficult as it maybe, it is essential to have a place where people can talk, plan and act together by naming the varying forms of violence and the causes that led to it. It is equally important to unmask the truth, not the partial truth but the whole truth. By neglecting any element of truth, it suppresses the hope and possibilities for people to work on behalf of the common good of all. Therefore, in telling the whole truth of both the good and the bad, and in asking constructive questions, the violence of silence is challenged. Eventually, one needs to evolve ways through which one can participate in the process of finding a solution to transcend the status-quo. If not, as Max Ediger put it; speak up before your silence is misunderstood!