Cultural genocide

type of genocide

Cultural genocide or cultural cleansing is a concept which was proposed by lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944 as a component of genocide. Though the precise definition of cultural genocide remains contested, the Armenian Genocide Museum defines it as "acts and measures undertaken to destroy nations' or ethnic groups' culture through spiritual, national, and cultural destruction."

Quotes edit

  • Ahimsa also applies to cultures taken as a whole. The devastation of cultures is an important kind of himsa which is not often acknowledged in typical accounts of non-violence. For example, when the United Nations drafted its laws on genocide, they eliminated the phrases which described cultural genocide. In the officially defined UN law, cultural genocide is not prohibited. Gandhi fully understood this kind of violence and often talked about it. Cultural genocide is the systematic and complete elimination or suppression of the native religion, language, dress, way of life, customs, and/or symbols of one people by another. Even though the people in question might be given material benefits through humanitarian aid, education and medical facilities, it is himsa if there is systematic destruction of their identity, sense of history, ideas of ancestry, and relationship with nature. Stripping people of their collective notion of self is a prelude to digestion and a major part of the process of colonization. This kind of himsa goes on today under the name of 'development' wherein success is measured by the criteria of Westernization. Much of what is being called 'universal' – even in human rights discourse – is in fact cultural genocide and therefore himsa in Gandhi's sense.
    • Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: