India: Hegemony and Consent

Hegemony is a tendency of power which not only makes its people forcibly to submit but also impregnates and influences all aspects of life.
India: Hegemony and Consent
File Photo

Hegemony is a tendency of power which not only makes its people forcibly to submit but also impregnates and influences all aspects of life. The social, political, ethical, cultural, and economic horizons are impacted. Even the common sense (rational opinion or normal perception) of the people are shaped or moulded by this dominant ideology. It in cumulative sense creates an 'ideological terrain' within which it accepts, and shapes political alternatives. Gramsci's concept of 'Coercion and Consent' in hegemonic powers has programmed states strongly to oppress majority, or subalterns, through the hegemonic powers, or ideology. The fact of the matter is that this relentless force is supposedly made to go deep down to the societal layers to find not only its acceptance, but also adherent followers. This long and persistent supply of coercion is determined to maintain and consolidate the power of what is called "Vocal Minority" or on the debris of generous democracy, or on "Silent Majority".  

This hegemonic power is imposed and largely driven to reinforce the state grip and enforce relentless wars or chaos to overawe resistance, and crush protest for justifiable causes. The state monopoly is exercised or expressed through different apparatuses like police, courts, army, civil society, family, education, trade union, etc. The state aggressively rules through these various wings of power and leaves no space to democratic ideals and individual rights. Under such cases the individual voices and democratic appeals dash to ground. The more disastrous is that even the common sense of people gets vitiated by this dominant and undemocratic power.  This leaves not only individuals in distress but also hijacks other institutions of democracy. These different cards are played to yield a multi-fractured democracy where in there is on one side state coercion and on the other consent to it.    

India of 21st century is nicely fitting the frame as it is ruling its people by using both 'Coercion and Consent'. On one side it is making state machinery run blindly and impose irrational cultural notions in a very un-parliamentarian way; involving actively police, army, courts, media, civil society, education, etc. It is re-shaping and re-interpreting all these institutions and their actions for defending what can be called 'statocracy' or tumbling democracy. On the other hand both common sense and good sense are gagged and interned for the sake of so to say 'statism', nothing above the state and nothing against the state, a Mussolini character. The Dadri lynching case is an eye opener; quite obvious that anti-beef law was not only imposed but was also relentlessly executed. The sad part of the story is that those (Police) who should have shown enough enthusiasm to capture culprits stood by the side of murderers. The common sense without vehemently condemning the act got engaged into a discussion whether beef meat was consumed or not, thus, by all intents and purposes gave license to the state to annihilate those who can consume beef. What is humiliating is that government has recognized various extremist Hindu cadres like RSS, VHP, Sangh Parivar, Shive Sena, etc., an imperative channels to carve out Hinduta state. Indian at the behest of these is palpably displaying communal ideology to make the Indian society to abide by the new law. 

The Indian media is further goading this climate and is deeply engaged in hosting those programmes that cater to the needs of this state. Not to talk of Arnab Gauswami, the impartial face of partial India, no single channel has ever bothered to come to the screen to sift fact from fiction. Almost all Indian channels calculatedly seem in rat race to justify the so called Indian version of Democracy'. The so called 'Indian secularism' displayed in Rajat Sharma's "AAP KI ADALAT" is all set to send facts into oblivion and bring to fore deliberately subjective Indian ethos with either the cheer of 'hired audience' or by the last patriotic word of 'planted Judge'. The lavish praise showered on people like Yogi Adityanath and their communal speeches are given appreciably huge coverage.

Indian courts have been activated more vigorously to make Indian climate hazier, for they all are awakened to tirelessly intervene on certain constitutionally sensitive issues. The article 370, 35A, and many more issues like minority rights are at a stretch made targets on the podium which have constitutional guaranty in India. It seems apparently most of times that people sitting inside the four walls of Indian Parliament are more interested in making constitutional flaws, which can surely cost India her rich harmony, than making laws friendly to syncretic culture, an essential eligibility for secular India. 

The introduction of Modi's "Make in India" rule has not even spared education, for various key educational positions are allotted to people who are ideologically aligned to him. Similarly, many vague and unscientific experiments are circulating in 'Modi Chamber' like the one on 'Centralization of Education' through 'Central University Act 2015'. These experiments are far from making up the limitations, rather are made to change the secular fabric of India.  Most of these appointments/experiments were resented in public for want of having no expertise in the respective sectors. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was scathing in his criticism to this interference and called it "extraordinarily large". Mirdulla Mukherji, History professor in JNU, evoked sharp criticism against the Modi intervention in education. What is worthy to point out is that these appointments were made to support nefarious designs and feed RSS ideologues. The appointment of Gajendra Chauhan, who played Yudhistra in Mahabharata, as FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) chief is made to cultivate a new Indian actor emboldening myth, cultural hegemony in plural India etc. Likewise the new arrival of ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research) chief, a key member of RSS, signaled a new fear psychosis among the minority students related to disbursement of scholarships. More to our surprise is that there is ceaseless importance being given to produce communal or nationalist literature with objective to serve 'saffron politics'. The HRD Ministry, Smriti Zubin Irani, was found culpable of offering educational positions to RSS, randomly. Many other potentially educational bodies (NCERT, CABE, etc) came under the 'Modi Radar' and are looked upon to bring up 'dictated culture' which is far from academia. 

Communal cards are played all across India to make favours to Hinduta state. From Ballabhgarh Communal violence in Haryana to communal riots in Jammu, all are undertaken intentionally to nurture a different state. The renaming of roads like converting Aurangzeb road to A P J Abul Kalam road is also a conspiracy to pay handsomely to communal politics. The fresh attack on Kashmiri truckers is another hooliganism that is surely to add insult to injury. All this is deliberately done to preach from the above that gone is the day when India was 'Secular, Democratic or Republic' . 

The Writer teaches at UMIKS, University of Kashmir, Srinagar

Related Stories

No stories found.