Ummid Assistant launches free MBA application form

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Views & Analysis

India low on global homicide, violence scale: Steven Pinker

Monday January 23, 2012 06:05:07 PM, Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS

New Delhi: Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, known for his radical theories about the evolution of language and violence in society, has a good word for India: the country is on the right side of the global homicide and crime scale despite the wars it has fought against Pakistan and numerous civil conflicts.

"The last statistics that I had said India had a homicide rate of 5.5. It is in the second lowest range...India has had several wars with Pakistan but they didn't compare to the Iran or Vietnam war. India has seen a lot of civil wars but on a per capita basis not a large percentage of the Indian population has been killed in these wars," Pinker told IANS on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

All the wars put together since 1948 have killed around 50,000 people, Pinker said.

Pinker said the most violent spot around the globe was probably the sub-Saharan Africa - Congo and Sudan's Darfur region.

The Canadian-American experimental psychologist, who teaches at Harvard University, is the author of eight books. Two of his works, "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial Of Human Nature" and "The Better Angels of Nature: Why Violence has Declined" have been acclaimed worldwide for their pathbreaking ideas about cognitive science of the mind and theories about the scaling down of violence.

The scientist said many had "predicted after the second world war that it was the beginning" of many wars but that did not happen.

"Korea and Vietnam are not happening any more," Pinker said. He said it was too soon to tell whether institutions like democracy, peacekeeping forces were effective in controlling violence.

Pinker said there were greater levels of intellectual awareness in society and new ideas "as opposed to early ideas of tribal purity".

"The ultimate idea is the value of human life," he said.

He said the idea of valuing human life, prevention of violence against minority and women were finding advocates but "there were still pockets where it was not the case".

"Suppression of free speech, external ideas and violations of human rights tend to be in Islamic countries where there are honour killings. In Iran, Khomeini wanted to restrict the number of students studying humanities because they question values."

North Korea is another country that has shut itself off from the flow, Pinker said.

Pinker said his last book, "The Better Angels of Nature: Why Violence has Declined", was based on points he had made in 2007 in a couple of paragraphs - "even if human nature has violence, there has been a decline in European homicide and slowing down of corporal punishment".

"I had made these points years ago in 2007. My agent said what are you so optimistic about? There was more evidence of declining violence than I knew about (I began to get feedback), decline in war in Europe and worldwide in 1990 and I started to see a pattern," Pinker said.

The scientist has begun to work on his next project - "A Style Manual For 21st Century" that explores the modern linguistics of cognitive science.

"The book will be about what makes language change based on how the human brain processes language," Pinker said.




Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS






Top Stories

All eyes on Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh

In the absence of a wave and no issue that could have an emotional sway on voters, the Muslim vote seems to be the one that could make or mar  »

Digvijay snubs Mulayam on higher Muslim quota

85 Muslims in Mayawati's list for Uttar Pradesh elections

Mulayam assures release of innocent Muslims, promises youth laptops


  Most Read

Mumbai’s Karimi Library on course to regain lost glory

Owen Meredith says, “It is, however, not to the museum, or the lecture-room, or the drawing-school, but to the library, that we must go for the completion of our humanity. It is books  »

Rushdie may speak at Jaipur fest - via video

Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial "The Satanic Verses", is likely to address the Jaipur Literature Festival via video-link Tuesday, the organisers said, days after he cancelled   »

Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust sends open invitation to Rushdie


  News Pick

London to host first ever Hajj exhibition

In collaboration and partnership with King Abdulaziz Public Library, the British Museum here has meticulously finished all preparations for the opening ceremony of the major hajj exhibition  »

YCMOU to introduce degree in textiles for underprivileged

Encouraged by the tremendous response it received to its course for the Mukadams of Malegaon, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) now plans a module based degree course in textiles  »

Why are Extremist Hindus angry at Muslims in India?

As elections approach in several major states in India the country is again experiencing the upsurge of some extremist Hindus targeting the Muslim minority by raising the bogey of 'appeasement of minorities" and  »


Picture of the Day

Dr Shariq Nisar, Director of Research and Operations of India’s premier shariah advisory firm TASIS and one of the senior most professionals of Islamic Finance in India, was in Malegaon on Sunday to address a seminar on "Prospects of Islamic Finance in India".




RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us




    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.