The epidemic of violence

October 28, 2006 at 2:54 am (Sarah's Posts)

Traffic riots

This article appeared in yesterday’s paper. This is not the first time that I’ve heard of mobs responding to traffic accidents. Unfortunately, it seems to be the case that often individuals take justice into their own hands and exact violence on the person who caused the traffic accident. This happens frequently enough that I read about it in a book about Mumbai and all my friends here acknowledge that it happens, particularly in bigger cities, and particularly when it involves someone from the slums or lower classes.

It got me thinking about violence and how it is related to the health of the community.  This sort of mob mentality happens as the community around them victim surges up to find some justice. Does it happen because the justice system here is slow and ineffectual, so people are trying to find some sort of order? Is it a result of people who don’t normally have a voice trying to make their needs heard? Or perhaps just their anger heard? Is there a way to channel that energy into something that isn’t so destructive?

Loosely related to health, but it has been swimming in my brain for the last day.

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