Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not again

Of late, previously divinely ordained oppressors may exhibit a grain of generosity by rewarding those they once oppressed. Electing expatriate Indians to the House of Lords or knighting a littérateur, are often seen as reparations to atrocities committed in the name of “sacred responsibility” of reforming the savaged. Such actions have been viewed with unreserved suspicion by the so-called postcolonial crowd – they even call them “insults” to the native cultures. “Self-serving nonsense”! They overlook the talent for which someone like Salman Rushdie (whatever he is capable of) has been ‘Sir’red. And substitute his intellect for something bigger than that: his identity (a British citizen, once an Indian and now a New Yorker).

They are seduced to unearth some bias (which I think is cognitively natural, but should be nonetheless avoided - if it comes in the way of doing some ‘greater good’). This bias, it seems, makes up all of one’s identity and individuals often are grandiosely and obviously imprisoned in their identities. No one can transcend the identity into which they were born: it is miraculously impossible. So say a band of postmoderns who can never acknowledge the human capability – or at least possibility – for transcendence.

If they breed such serums for sanguine nihilism, then other kinds of antidotes are also being formulated. If the Oppressed now excel in the oppressor’s homeland, it is a jovial overturn of the balance of power. In other words, if a steel baron becomes UK’s richest businessman or a big steel company is gulped by an Indian steel-maker, then this becomes a “rebalancing of the ancient equilibrium of world trade.” The once roaring tigers and dragons (India and China - with GDPs far exceeding their western counterparts) in the world economy, now have a chance to regain their previous glory. As if a glorious economy is all that these civilizations have given to the world – in fact, both of them were spiritual powerhouses in their own right.

Corporates don’t build a country. They form part of the country, which is populated more by citizens. Of late in India, likeminded citizens have formed collectives, which have in turn become cronies of corporate capitalism. Bureaucracy has betrayed the nation. Some pull the corporate bandwagon. Few others become bureaucrats to turn into corporate leaders – citing silly reasons; the most ridiculous is that by turning into ambassadors of capitalism, they would serve the country better.

Plainly, I wait for the day when “in a dark time, eye[s] begins to see.”

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