Nationalism and Migration

The layers of east and west are no more the myths of the other world
Nationalism and Migration
Both have made humans helpless about moral judgements and about their existential illusions. Present times have become so sceptic that humans are powerlessly seeking answers. GK Layout Desk

There is something wrong with the order making. Initially empire building was made on the faith of the empires. Modernity swept it off, it brought on nation building on the ideologies of this worldliness, some three hundred years ago.

The realm of power perpetuates through legalist rationalist formal order where in domination worked through discipline and punish.

This was the mantra taken from religious orders that took refuge in the surveillance of the other worldly invisible angels given by the scripts. Modernity forced power and domination through its visible and non-visible agencies through its state powerful agencies.

Both have made humans helpless about moral judgements and about their existential illusions. Present times have become so sceptic that humans are powerlessly seeking answers. There is no way to prove the certainties or uncertainties of the otherworld.

Nobody has returned after his or her death in that same form and face to tell us the story of the other world.

Only mythical notions we are being fed, which are melting down with passing advancement of science and technology. And the myth of Enlightenment Project, the stories of this world have become known after trans-border migrations.

This has increased since the process of decolonization and now promoted by globalization; the layers of east and west are no more secrets and myths of the other world. The angels and agencies have failed in their surveillance to keep the sheen of the aura they had promised us.

This is the misery of ours and crisis of our times. The ideologies have become bankrupt and the faith is not holding its forte. This is the poetry of Iqbal and likes and prose of Noam Chomsky and the critics of the times trying to overcome the disillusionments of that world or of this worldly order.

If national borders are sites of jingoism, hate and process continuous othering. The neighbour is the other and other cannot be befriended, then this world remains always under the cloud of security and surveillances. Nation building and state formation remain more caged in security dimensions than human developmental dimensions.

It was presumed that the Modern project of nation-state divisions of the globe would end the problems of Order making. Modernity could not do that, however, it did one thing; it brought nihilism and exposed the myths of faith. It put Sun, Moon and Earth in the form of comprehensible scientific exploration rather than celestial objects of divine.

The post modernity broke the parable of multiculturalism. Internationalism is not only competitive but bloody as well, for it has disempowered science and religion and endowed scientism and religiosity.

Therefore humans need a fresh world order. It would come from the consensus identified traditions that would be on compassion, free will and parity of people irrespective of construed bases of caste, creed, race, title and faith. The alternative to modernity is multiple-modernity. The borders have to become frontiers that would be sites of intellectual discourses and transmissions of ideas rather than walls of self and the other and metaphor of otherness. It cannot last after the process of unfolding is complete. And it day and night opens to scrutiny.

The lines of contradictions are marked. Is it not a paradox that the countries which are better developed and have been encouraging or tolerating immigrants for having conviction on liberal democracy have become targets? And the nations that abhor religion and refuse immigrants are now in close ties with under developed or developing states, which day and night sell religion to its masses.

Russia and China are the prime examples how they woo those countries whose bankruptcy have been saved their rivals countries in the past. Publicaly, no Muslim country takes any posture against communism or anti migration stance of these countries.

In fact have rationalised its empathy for such states on national safety and immediate border othering security paradigm. This indeed would prove a myth.

The unresolved fallacy that started with ‘laissez-faire’ ended with the experimentation with migration control in nineteenth century. It made rebirth of passports and distinction between citizens and foreigners. The dimensions of national belonging and personal identity over played multiculturalism that was perceived to be the response to melting pot thesis.

It is difficult to foresee any long term unintended consequences of migration policy and there are questions if developed countries have capacity to build such policy. The notion that migration can be turned off and on like a tap by appropriate policy making could go well with the time in these developed western countries.

The policy makers failed to understand the process of globalization and its unintentional consequences on the nation state boundaries. Instead of understanding the migration as asocial process liked with the chain migration and networks and arising from the factors within the political systems, it related it with part of a high politics scenario.

The asymmetrical warfare and manufactured uncertainties provided the logic to such conclusions. Despite range of measures from 1980s onward by individual states and treaties like Schengen Agreement (1985), and European Union decision on common migration and asylum policies through Amsterdam Treaty in 1997 and regional initiatives 2003, the fact is that migration has become out of control. Arab spring and internal displacements have shown that the people who were compelled to migrate were not poor people but they had their jobs, lands and their own homes from generation, wherefrom they have been uprooted. The recent study suggests that approximately nine million aliens live illegally in the United States.

This indeed is a migration crisis not only claimed by politicians but also by the serious academicians as a result of changed perceptions about the self and the other created by national boundaries and religious nationalisms. The experimentation of three hundred years with nation states is not giving encouraging results.

The humans have to find new ways of living together in peace on one common world. It has thrown the offshoots for the debate and discussion, especially the aftermath of COVID 19 experiences. The very fundamental basis that there is structural dependence on migrants, where notionally migration is being hated.

This contradiction has to come close, because the national boundaries are only prompting the hidden agendas of migration. The third wave migration after the close of the century has unleashed a new dynamic process of ethnic entrepreneurship, which is transnational.

The fact that the migrant enterprise can have social and political consequences as well is now seen at policy framing. There is over view of enclave economy but it meets its contradictions with ethnic economy.

This is where we go back to identified traditions of history, which can be complimented with the Modern project to overcome the limitations of nation states to restore human peace and prosperity in togetherness.

Explorations of traditions need two important components, one the viewed religion and other the lived religion. The viewed religion can be perceived in the blending traditions of human history and lived religion could be stretchable to go in complimentary mode with it.

This is the way to see history as stretchable and ever moving process with stability of human interactions, if freed from domination and power of patriarchy. Such movements and reformations with blending traditions are in multiple narratives of history. It is to be explored for new order making.

Ashok Kaul, Emeritus Professor in Sociology, Banaras Hindu University

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

Greater Kashmir