Yellow Bag

Conflict in the Community

November 22, 2022 2 Min Conflict in the Community

Have you ever fought with your neighbors?

Not just an argument. Not just in WhatsApp.

A REAL dama dama dhoom 👊

One of the curious things I notice in the community we work in is the sound (Noise). The community is predominantly low-income, with few of those who couldn’t afford three meals a day and with few exceptions of Government servants. Just a world’s sample set.

People shouting at each other is a norm. Yesterday, from the next street (5 feet wide street), I suddenly heard a loud female voice. Generally, such voices would scream “Who did this?” “Look at me!” or “Which ..” “How dare you”. That is the beginning of a new tunnel of hate dug between two families.

Yesterday it was different, it started with someone shouting “Shut up” at someone.

“Shut up” means the conversation was mild before it could reach our ears. The conflict was between a Government servant’s family and a single mom who lives in a single room. It was over the issue of garbage in the pathway. It went on for a full 15 minute and progressed to stage 3.

Let me make you comfortable with the stages.

Stage 1 – Someone dropped garbage(accidentally/intentionally/just had no other option) in a neighbor’s territory.

Stage 2 – The neighbor has not seen the person, but knows ‘who’ intuitively. She/He uses few swear words loud enough for all neighbors to hear. That’s a warning.

Stage 3 – The incidence repeats and the erring person is caught red-handed (or) some misjudgment happened. dama dama dhoom begins.

dama dama dhoom – People shouting at each other. Starts with normal words, progresses to curse words. Generally settled without external intervention.

Stage 4 – Stage 3 repeats, but soon gets into action. Fistfight or throwing things. Needs external intervention to resolve it temporarily.

Stage 5 – Becomes a habit. Both parties even unconsciously plan badly for the other. When eyes meet, anything could happen. Needs severe external intervention to resolve.

In this case, both houses have a descent territory gap, but a common pathway. Someone dropped garbage in the pathway repeatedly despite a warning. We heard Stage 2 warning in the noon and stage 3 shouting by evening.

These two are otherwise calm people. Now provoked, there seems to be no end. Someday it will reach Stage 5.

A classic case of conflict.

This is quite common in low-income neighborhoods. Exists in all other neighborhoods too. What should be addressed?

– Waste handling

– Bigger spaces for people

– Strengthened community

– Better knowledge/tools to handle conflict

Whatever may be the need, how do one act? Where would one start?

-This post was originally published in our co-founder Krishnan’s LinkedIn page

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