Our Crisis: a crisis of an age

Kashmiris need reformation, Pandits or Muslims.

Every century is marked by its landmark allegory, a metaphor of an age. If nineteenth century is concomitant with biological organism, the twentieth century is a century of nationalisms and this century could be visualised by the processes of globalization. The underline subjectivity of order making is power and domination, hegemony and expansions. That is being ascribed through language and consciousness and cognition and understanding. The preceding centuries had definite and marked demarcations, for Europe from eighteenth century onwards has assumed clear-cut centrality with power and domination. It could easily force consensus in the peripheral lands and subjugated countries.

This century came with abrupt changes in primary and super structures and swift transformation in political global consciousness. The political elites in different countries in order to retain its power and domination tried to experiment with this altered political consciousness, which brought miseries and pile of tragedies on the masses all over the world. While the dominant paradigms of preceding centuries lost teeth, the process of globalization, a new experimentation of breaking old boundaries and crating new alliances generated manufactured uncertainties. With the process of globalization, the notion that borders are transcendental and soft power can alter individual life politics created blurred boundaries with hybrid identities. Since states' welfare agenda got mitigated, it lost its institutional control on citizenry; hence the states have turned into security states relying heavily on instrumentality of surveillance. Rise of imagined nationalisms mixing with genealogies and religiosity to forge identity politics in the wake of weakening of ideologies created havoc with the peaceful coexistence of diversities. The displacements of people from their native places had been colossal catastrophes in the third wave of migrations and forceful displacements. About two and half million people have lost their homes in Arab spring and internal displacements. Imagine people and families which were displaced were not people in search for jobs and starving with hunger.

They had all those resources, right from home to vacations, assets to positions at their native places. Whether it were the driven out Kashmiri pandits, Kurds, Afghanis or the huge chunk of displaced population from Middle East to Africa in Arab spring, they were forced to flee for security and honour of their women. Despite being functionalities in the global market, they face the discriminations and identity crisis, wherever they have settled.

The countries are multicultural societies, but without cosmopolitan civil culture, the cultural antagonisms have generated hostilities in the neighbourhoods.

The relations do not solidify due to fluidity of interactions and absence of public sphere processes in the wake of globalization. They are unwelcome and unfortunate populations; they cannot go back to their native places even if peace comes to those sites.

For it would be a deprived and disconnected social geography, even their locations and neighbourhoods must have been altered. Without proper locale and connectivity memory of place and people, their return seems next to impossible under present conditions.

The second shift has been the realization that ‘man is not a social animal’ but ‘humans are language animals’. Lacan’s contention that unconscious is structured like language is a radical shift from Freudian psychoanalysis that that unconscious is blank, accumulations of suppressed desires. For Lacan, “We are our words, rather the other way around.” It is not we who speak our words, but instead the words that we speak define who we are. It has made superstructure and soft power more pervading over political economies. The old movements either have lost relevance are fading out without any diligence to social change. The other is invisible, as the corporate capital is all over the world beyond control to protest.

Since globalization increased the capacity of individual and groups to project influence, mobilize resources and attract followers across the national boundaries; it has not only weakened the states but also brought seduction and illusions in the minds of these groups and individuals to build relationships and forge alliances. It does have sustained predictability. Run by ‘liquid modernity’ through ‘liquid money’. It is through virtual sites. It is devoid of mutual trust, relies on computer-generated familiarity of an agenda that has no cultural connectivity. This basic qualitative shift in international politics has generated proxy wars and hybrid affiliations on fluid ties and weak promises. It has broken the social institutions, disintegrated families and created false illusion of freedom and identity beyond primary groups. This illusion is breaking, once keeping pace becomes impossible in fluidity. Our seductive youth is internally melancholic for the lack of anchorage and its moral authority to be believed.

The COVID-19 has accelerated the process of exclusion. The soft power is divisive. The digital cards, chips and zoom meetings are wilful exclusion without any resistance. It gives hardly any choice that does not fall in the line of dominant power and market mechanism. Social geography and virtual geography are marked sites through architecture, design and rationale of cybernetics that well gazed and individuals are well measured and under constant surveillance. The referent is lost. It is difficult to convince a growing child about the moral authority of any text, revelation or theory, if Professor Google does not verify it. Facebook is a readymade history sheet of any person that you want to know without bothering him or her. News is noise and knowledge is power of discourse that creates dominant assertion. Private is public and public is subject to surveillance, so humans are personal lonely and nomads. It is a world of ‘liquid modernity’ governed by neo liberalism as its realistic structure and soft power to give it protection. Imagine the helplessness of those who move from places to places without visa for better life chances or those who were affected by COVID 19 to go back to their places. Both the populace perish without any botheration. They are in millions. For neo-liberalism does not care if you do not produce profit for the system. It is how it treats places and persons. Without purchasing power the market glamor is illusion and depression, where our youth has become easy prey in systems which have lost moral control. Disintegrating families, fractured societies can hardly be treated with the paradigms of yester century. History has taught us that nationalism and patriotism emerge not by creating other alone, but having a priory requirement of an institutional civil society, with skilful educated middle class. It was the way Europe emerged on the bank of protestant ethics and now China on Toa- Confucian professional ethics. India has rich segments of organic revolution of its civilization. It is not difficult to locate, save and sustain in blending native traditions. These need to be identified and strengthened. It has assured guarantee for interfaith accommodation, for the formal religiosity has been divisive. We need cultures not in relativity but in identified blending locations, which is universality.

What then is the choice, away out? The societies or communities that have been robbed off their nativities and are in the realm of estrangement are in need of sustained familiarity, which is necessary for generating trust. Without trust there is no promise of future, for market rationality can hardly furnish peace and gratuity. What is then needed? It is essential that such communities or societies should go through reformation movement. Without reformation, it would be further stagnation. And for reformation you need human agency, which should be leadership of statesman not of a politician. Kashmiris need reformation, Pandits or Muslims. Until then you need to drive your own boundary move with your own reasoned knowledge in the realm of borderless virtual world. It is which is invisible, controlled and contemplated all the time from the unknown sites.

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