In the ninth chapter of “Identity and Violence” Amartya Sen discusses the importance to evaluate every human being not only from a religious point of view but also language, social status, place of living, and employment (170-188). In order to prove that people perceive each other in terms of affiliation to this or that religion, Amartya Sen reminds of his own experience as an 11-year-old boy when Hindus and Muslims were in conflict with each other (172). Moreover, politicians did not put their efforts at ending the war among them, as well as even instigated people to perceive each other as just Hindus or Muslims (Sen 172). However, it is absolutely wrong to assess a person only as a representative of a specific religion. Additionally, nowadays civilizational and cultural theories are very popular among scholars; however, they do not measure people “as persons with diverse identities but as member of one particular social group” (Sen 176). For instance, Amartya Sen provides an example of the “Hindu civilization” that does not consist only of Indians but also 145 million Muslims (177). Accordingly, people who reside in one country, cooperate with each other through engagement in political, economic, cultural, and social life of the country (Sen 177). In my opinion, this chapter is intended both for leaders of American and Islamic word as they have to disseminate knowledge among their citizens that before taking any decision or taking any step connected with an evaluation of another person, they have to do it objectively without taking into account just a religious component. Amartya Sen proves this point of view with that fact that “theories of Islamic exclusiveness” are very spread in our time (179). As a result, Muslims justify jihad and acts of terrorism (Sen 179). Further, it is essential to gain insight into the history, including: what achievements Muslims have made into the development of science, culture, and art (Sen 179, 183). In sum, every nation has to be considered as a union of citizens rather than a specific number of religious groups. Amartya Sen makes an emphasis that as people are evaluated just in terms of religion, this can pose hazard to life of all people. Accordingly, as for me, both high-ranking officials and ordinary people have to change their way of thinking as well as make an in-depth analysis of every event and situation. Besides, at kindergartens, schools, and institutions of higher education teachers and lecturers have to teach that religion is not the only one factor that assists in taking a sound decision about a person. Amartya Sen writes logically. Moreover, he does not jump from one thought to another; his sentences run smoothly and logically. The thesis is very clear from the beginning of the chapter. To my mind, the efforts of the whole society and world organizations are directed at ensuring peace. This work and the ninth chapter separately brings up many issues that are believed to be burning nowadays. Additionally, the author does not only try to state that problems exist but also propose the ways out of the situation. In summary, Amartya Sen showed a thorough awareness in issues that were raised, as well as changed the civilizational approach that was discussed by Samuel Huntington in 1996.
Sen, Amartya & Louis, Henry “Freedom to Think”. Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. W.W, Norton, 2006. 170-188.