Political and social divisions - Sample Essay
The next theory is the theory of constructivism. During the early years of the colonial period, Rwandan people were identified as one and having a single solid culture which they lived in. They Batutsi and Bahutu tribes were merged into one Rwandan society which was under control by foreign forces. However, early German accounts on the history of the Rwandan people and classification based on analogous racial criteria by the Belgians affected their views about their past.
The idea was that, the Batutsis (modern Tutsi) were aliens who invaded the land and set themselves as more dominant as compared to the indigenous people and established a monarchy which they were the royalties while the Bahutu (modern Hutu) were the indigenous people who were less dominant over the aliens who were more concerned on their agricultural way of life. These ethnic differences were further strengthened with the unequal distribution of rights to the population. For example, Hutu people were to tend their farms whereas Tutsi people can acquire proper education.
Also, intermarriage between the two was no longer aloud. This resulted to the construction of “ethnic identities” that played the major roles during the genocide. The creation of the modern ethnic identities by foreign influence was not accomplished through the theory of primordialism, instead through the theory of constructivism. Foreign influence over the area created political and social divisions which many people identify as “ethnic identities”. These ethnic identities are adopted by more people today though they did not really reflect differences, both scientifically and physiologically, between the Hutus and Tutsis.
But despite the success of foreign colonizers in creating the “ethnic identities”, which were more of political or social identities rather than cultural divisions, it were still not enough to initiate a mass extermination which would be attended by people nationwide. However, in the turn of events, these identities played a major role in promoting the genocide. The last but not the least is the theory of instrumentalization. This theory explained what the other two theories mentioned above, the theories of primordialism and constructivism, were not able to explain.
It explained why the genocide occurred and who were the real masters of the Rwandan Civil War that resulted to the genocide. In the instrumentalist framework, the system of classification, in the form of identification cards by the Belgian colonizers, was also a key player in the genocide incident. The Rwandan genocide was largely the result of elite manipulation of the existing ethnic identities in order to gain material, political and social power to protect their personal interests. The theory of instrumentalization did work and the whole system ended into genocide.
The Rwandan genocide was considered to be the worst massacres to ever happen since World War II. Unlike the Nazi Holocaust which was conducted by only a small portion of the population, the popular movement involved hundreds of thousands of people from various statuses. Military and community leaders incited the masses to participate in the event, though some people already perpetrated violence even without orders from their leaders. Several inhumane acts were sometimes performed to a single victim especially women.
They were raped and tortured since they were the bearers of the future of the ethnic group. According to written accounts, the death toll of both Tutsi and moderate Hutu totaled to 937,000. However, no matter how to look for the reasons why such incident occurred, the living population must restore the damage brought by the conflict. There was a need for all people to participate in the restoration projects; especially the women who were then marginalized in times of conflict as well as in the aftermath.