Exploitations in Human History: Raping Women to Plundering Nations

By Ranjit K. Sahu

Exploiting the weakness of another fellow human to advance self interests in nothing new or surprising when seen in the context of the history of human civilization and social evolution. Although it is an inherited malice that is deeply ingrained into the thoughts of all creatures as a survival instinct, only in case of human beings does it manifest as a trait utilized for obtaining material with no survival implications. While at times these were as simple as ill treatment of a person with lower social standing by a person with higher status or influence, in other instances it was reflected in the subjugation of nations with a lesser muscle power by those with a higher potential for warfare. Reflecting this simple concept of the exploited and the exploiter are the many wars that have been fought throughout history where the victor often subjugated the loser, taking for granted an unwritten rule that the victor was the moral possessor of everything the loser owned. This tendency of exploitation was the reason for the instances in the history of the Indian sub continent where a single battle decided the fate of an entire nation, be it the battle of Palaassey that handed over the reins of entire Bengal to the British or the battle where a freak arrow allowed Akbar to claim his authority over India.  These examples are among a few where a single incident was sufficient to legalize exploitation of a person or a nation on another though in reality the vast majority of the population would have not been involved in the decision making process but bore the consequences. This concept traverses the forms of governance from monarchies where the kings make the decision to democracies where the executive head makes the final pronouncements exploiting the powers they wield.

On a wider view there is not much difference between the British stealing the resources on the pretext of having conquered India and the exploitation of the peasant population by the Zamindaars except that while in the former the exploiters were of foreign origin, in the later both the exploiter and the suppressed had native origins. Nevertheless the system of feudalism still rampant in many parts of the Indian subcontinent still results in the genesis of alternate forms of subjugation like money lending, which affect the not well to do population. Similar is the case in the Middle East and across many countries where the natural or artificial economic resources are the privilege of few who dictate the terms and conditions of their utilization. While the sheiks of the oil rich Arab nations form one example, the billionaires of corporate worlds that exploit legal loopholes form another.  It is another thing about how  the people with authority handle their power and manifest it for social cause or for meeting narrow individual  goals overcoming the temptation to exploit the favorable situations.

However history also has shown that continuous exploitation can have dire consequences for the rulers as evidenced by the French revolution of 1789 or the Russian revolution of 1917. The advent of democracy may have been a good concept for the progress of human beings as a whole but unless the social reforms are undertaken to eradicate continuous exploitation of one group opposed to another, a secure sustenance system for each individual in the society, based on his or her capability would be absent leading to burgeoning crimes. It is not to say that communism is the solution for such problems or that capitalism has failed as a remedy for social inequality but what is important to note is that the stratification of society on an economic basis has been the hall mark of human history from ancient times where there existed two groups of exploiters and exploited often changing their roles depending on the circumstances.

It is easy to relate the absence of sanitation in the rural environment and the increasing utilization of mobile phones and television in the village settings with rapes overlooking the fact that these result from the very tendency of humans to exploit situations for their purposes.  It is thus vital to inculcate moral values and social responsibility in individuals to avoid exploiting the weaker sections. The absence of such civic sense would negate any progress done due to economic development. The development sans law and order and persistent presence of an exploited class will thrust the society into increased insecurity and helplessness while widening gaps in social strata.  That precisely is what is reflected in the growing incidents of violence in the country. The resources that are generated for social welfare are limited to a few who can exploit them using power and money.  Similarly, the cocktail of unemployment with the availability of drugs and pornography and decreased social structures along with absence of law enforcement has created a steadily increasing population of youth that veer towards crimes exploiting the absence of strict social norms. The tendency of exploiting a situation for self benefit will never be erased from a human mind. However, the ability to manipulate the thoughts to decrease the tendency to exploit at individual levels would be the key for progress of the human society starting at individual and expanding to a global level. Until and unless such a philosophy in incorporated into the functioning of the human civilization, powerful nations and organizations will plunder(rape) the weaker nations while at individual capacity, powerful men/women will continue their sexual and non-sexual harassment of the weaker humans (minors included).

About The Author: Ranjit Sahu, was born in India and is a doctorate in biotechnology. He has published two books in poetry ( 2005: A Year of Love and Drunk ) and his poems have appeared in the website of Poetry.com. Presently, he is working on several volumes of poems with different themes.

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