Facing our Political Present -II

The filiations through mimicry have been an age-old strategy of some elements on the periphery to become absorbed into the centre and gain power.  Humans do have a tremendous capacity to become what one hates. Unfortunately, in our desire to reject the imperial centre, we seem to have become copies of the same.  This mimicking of the imperial centre can no longer be hidden. It is already subverting our present.  These anti-imperial potentials are still living in our present. Facing our political present, we can open ways of manifesting those mimicking the imperial centre today.  Those in the ruling benches that divide us on the basis of food, faith, language preferences etc., clearly mimic the divide and rule policy of the colonisers. We do not require rocket science to see how the reining politics in our days is a filiation of our colonial past. The invisible censor that controls our several freedoms, institutions of democracy and the press is another sign that our rulers have now become images of our colonial masters. Goa is also not free from this neo-imperialism. Our issues centred on our mother tongue and its scripts have pushed us to imitate the imperial masters of the colonial past.  The language divide in our society has been successfully used to convert into hegemony by a minority from the upper caste in Goa.  This shows that we too have the filiation of the colonial past in several ways. 

Even when the colonial masters are gone, we still produce relations of coloniality in our post-colonial context. The colonial empire has collapsed but it is still surviving through the sons and daughters that it has filiated. These mimic children imitate the modes of domination of the colonizers.  Here we may remember those who blindly imitate the colonisers by incorporating their values and ways of thinking and being. But besides, this mimicry, we are also examining those who mask colonial imperialism in the guise of nationalism and religion. The conflict between English and Konkani as the medium of instruction at the primary level in Goa seems to become a space where the colonial modes of domination are reproduced as a minority that enjoys hegemony attempts to impose its desire and thus reproduce its power. The choice of the ordinary people is not English, the language of the imperial centre but it is English, the language that promises livelihood for their children. This English that our people are embracing is part of several Englishes that tens and thousands of people are embracing in our country. People of Goa are dis-placing both the imperial English and Konkani when they choose English, Roman Konkani and Marathi. The chosen English in this context is certainly not imperial English.  Thus, Konkani in Nagri script has now become the substitute to the imperial English/ Portuguese and unfortunately has become the vehicle of purity, power and hegemony of a caste and creed. It humiliates Konkani in Roman scripts and those in Goa who prefer Marathi.  Hence, our present is political and is reproducing the oppressing power relations in the image of those produced by the colonizer. 

The encounter with our political present has produced mimicry of the colonial masters as well as resistance that is also mimicry at the other end of the complex spiral. This is why even at the end of historical colonisation; we are still enslaved to the enticements of the colonising power. But we have not reached the end of the road.  We have critical abilities to look at the condition of our society. we can critically discern the mimic men of colonizers and expose the way they  build colonial relations of power and hegemony in our society. We cannot allow this filiation to continue.  We have to fight the afterlife of colonization continued by elites who have grabbed power and desire to maintain it.  We still have a long way to go to reach our goals of decolonization.  In this regard, we have to give up the aesthetic of the colonizers in the face of the other. Every otherness does not have to be hierarchized and assimilated on a vertical scale.  It can be embraced and kept on a parallel scale. Rhizomatic way of thinking can assist us to embrace otherness on a horizontal scale.  Otherness does not alienate us but leads us to profound self-discovery. Our Goan hospitality has these elements of aesthetics of care.  The aesthetics of care has to flower into ethics of care that would build new emancipative ways of building relations of the self with its other. The other is not a hell. The other is a condition of our freedom and growth. In a very fundamental way, we seem to have imitated the colonizer in modelling our relations with the other. A caste laden society like us might have found reinforcing models in colonizers modes of organising hegemony and power. We have to Decolonize as well as de-castify our ways of ordering our relations of self and its other in Goa and our country.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao