Seeking Decolonial Options

The world is not simply there to be known but is brought into being by discourse.  This will become clear if we take time to reflect on the condition of being Indian today.  Our world in India manifests a remarkable change. The right wing discourse has come to dominate our society and we feel a noticeable change in the way being and felling Indians. This discourse has constructed a place for us and indicated what can be reproduced and what has to be left behind.  Like any other discourse, the right wing discourse is mode of maintaining power over every Indian.  It almost mimics the discourse of West that was developed to colonize and dominate the East. One can find the echo of the colonial order in the manner it constructs and exercises authority over its other. The existence of   a deviant other is necessary to the construction of what is normal and to locate one’s place within the world constructed by the discourse. We can find how the  presence of Muslims, other minorities, women, tribal and dalits fix the place of sanskri Hindus in our society. Thus, the discourse not only alienates the minorities but also cages the majority community within the confines of what it permits and disallows as befitting a sankari Hindu. 

Discourse offers subject positions to everyone subjected to it.  We become subjected subjects of the discourse. The fact that we seem to have entered a new India, while everything around us continues to be same is because we as Indians have become subjected to the right wing discourse and we have embraced the subject position offered to us. We are called into being by this discourse. It has marked each Indians. Some are marked as insiders while others are marked as outsiders.  It has become the law of the father and  we Oedipalize out of castration phobia.  It as if we have become subjected to it and become different Indians in our sleep. We have fallen to the seductive power of the right wing discourse.  It has dislocated us all.  We are all unhomed. It includes even the members of the majority community. Unless they become sanskari Hindus they too have no share in the destiny imagined by the discourse.  Black skinned people desire to put on white mask as they are inferiorized and racialized  by the white discourse says  Fanon in his book Black Skins and white Mask. The right wing discourse inferiorizes and de-indianizes everyone and hence everyone has to prove their love of nation.  This may be the mechanism of buying the silence of the majority community.  Unfortunately, the dangerous discourse have colonized our imagination and constricted our thinking.  

Colonisation has reached it completion in a post-colonial India. Our mind is today more colonized than may be before. We are reproducing or mirroring the imperial practices of the colonial masters. The divide and rule policy of the British is shameless followed by those that produce and control the discourse that is shaping our society.  It presents cultural and religious nationalism which has become the opium of the masses. It is urgent and vital that we develop a counter discourse to tackle the reigning oppressive one. One has to become aware that this reining discourse has nothing to offer the poor.  It does not reveal any hopeful economic horizon.  The economic slowdown that afflicts us today has come to awaken us. We need a counter discourse to interrogate the reigning one that is dominated by the right wing.  The counter discourse has to become decolonial and puncture the reigning imitation of the colonial one in our country.  It does not seem that Congress the chief opposition party is capable of providing one. It seems to suffer from fatigue and exertion. It ideology seems to have become somewhat redundant and does not seem to be able to inspire confidence of our people though lot of people still vote for it.  This means our counter discourse will not come so easily. It also means that we have a great opportunity to promote a belonging to India that is not defined by any religion. It is no easy task as in our country caste seems to be hiding behind religion. What is dominant is not so much religion, not even the ideology but is caste difference. Ideology of the right wing is the hiding place of the upper caste. Hence, Decolonial option is only reliable step that we can truly take to bring progress to our people. Decolonial options built resistance against oppression and exploitation. It opens us to the diversal and the pluriversal. It can manifest the dark side of the reining discourse and thus operate as a counter discourse. The mask of the reigning discourse that in practice reproduces colonial divisive practices has to be uncovered. 

The discourse of the right wing produces mimic men of the colonizers.  The colonizers had a civilizing mission, he had an imperial language, he has a religion and he produces power and authority by dividing the people on the basis of religion. The mimic men produced by the discourse of the right wing also exhibit that they have a civilizing mission. Hindu nationalism seems to be that civilizing mission. The English of the colonizers has been replaced by Sanskrit and Hindi and Christianity of the west has been also replaced by home grown evolution of Hinduism. Hence, the first decolonial option that we have is to understand the extension of the colonization through the discourse of the right wing.  The next decolonial option that we have  is the challenge to deconstruct and derail the totalizing claims and political epistemic violence that is unleashed by the discourse that is under our serious scrutiny. This means we have to be open to the plurival as well as the interversal in India.  The reign of the universal came along with modernity and colonization. The pluriversal as well as interversal is richer and profound than universal. India is diverse and hence it’s precious diversity as well as inter-connectivity and inter-dependence can be protected only through the decolonial option that embraces its pluriversality and interversality.  This new focus on pluriversality and intervesality might produce a counter discourse that can interrogate and deconstruct the reigning one. 

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao