Department of English & MEL
University of Allahabad, Allahabad
Violence happens to be one of the most serious problems of this postmodern world. Many of us are usually mistaken about the notion of violence when we perceive it to be either physical or psychological. This tendency almost obliterates many hidden forms of violence which emerge from the ruling class ideologies. The agents of such ideologies, according to the renowned French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, are those people who own capital of one or another kind which provides them symbolic power. And by virtue of this symbolic power, they exert violence upon marginalized people in the name of protecting one or other objective norms of the social sanctity. Violence is always started by the binaries of language in which something is accepted better than the other. When these artificially manufactured good norms of social behavior are encoded in law books and scriptures in the name of reality and perfect knowledge, they become more torturous, pervasive, subtle and invisible. People misrecognize the deep ideologies of ruling class behind this constructed reality and inflict violence either upon themselves or those who deviate a little form these standardized norms. One of these hidden forms of violence is symbolic violence which is perpetrated by those who hold symbolic power. Munshi Premchand’s novel Godan has multiple such instances where the poor characters are brutally exploited because they have misrecognized the ideologies of the ruling class and support them as if they were the rules of God. Thus, they help their victimizers to victimize them. The present research paper is a serious endeavor to find out the various ways through which poor people of marginalized communities are exploited.
Keywords: Violence, Symbolic Violence, Capital, Habitus, Exploitation, Marginalization.