Walking into the Embrace of Our (m)Other

What is the shape of our desire? Why do we desire to be led? Why do we desire to have someone else legislate life for us? Maybe we have nurtured a herd instinct. Somehow most of us seem to have preferred to line up along with the silent majority. We seem to have lost our voice and our self in the crowd. Perhaps, the insightful analysis of Deleuze and Guattari will assist us to diagnose as well heal our collective malady. Our society needs this analysis of desire. We are rational as well as volitional beings.  Hence, our desire often determines the quality of life that we enjoy. In several ways, we are led to look down on the role of volition or desire and look at ourselves as primarily rational beings. But that is not the way we are. In the West, the Franciscan tradition of voluntarism, Freudian and Lacanian Psychoanalysis is taken desire seriously. In the East, we find the Buddhist tradition taking desire head-on.  

Unfortunately, we find that most societies under the weight of patriarchy come under the reign of what Freud describes as the law of the father. Besides, being patriarchal, society in our country is contaminated by hierarchical relations construed by the principle of caste and religion. This means society seems to be hurdled into a herd to mimic the desire of the upper caste (Brahmanism) that is embedded in our culture and religion.  Brahmanism is a body without organs (to use Deleuzian jargon) which acquires its organs much like capitalism in different cultures and religions. This is why capitalism, patriarchy and Brahmanism can co-habit as well as separately.  It is the law of father, the pure original to which everything else has to gravitate and correspond. The submission to that which is called the law of father is often viewed as subordination to the phallic logic. This logic ensures the victory of what is considered original, pure and sacred in any society. From the psychoanalytic point of view, it is construed as the rule of the Phallus that symbolically castrates our desire and forces everyone to imitate/ mimic the desire of one who owns the phallus in our society.

The one who owns the phallus has the symbolic capital and everyone else can only copy it and seems to have no way to get away from it. Deleuze and Gauttari call it a despotic signifier. The despotic signifier is a point at which desire is thought to reach its climax, fulfilment and perfection.  There seems nothing is left to desire beyond this upper limit. But paradoxically, there is no satiation of such desire. Needs can be satisfied, but desire cannot be satisfied. This is why the great Buddha taught that desire is the root of all evil and suffering. The human desire for wealth, sex and power is insatiable. French psychoanalyst, Lacan emphasizes that desire always remains dissatisfied. Yet, the upper limit of desire, where it seems to promise a paradise, is luring everyone. It appears to be a point where we will touch the sky and be happy ever after. There is nothing beyond the Phallus. Everything else has to be a copy of this original. Thus, being under the phallic logic, we feel the desire that literally drives us to install the original ‘lingam’ in our society.  Nothing is free from the replication of this pure desire.

S. N. Srinivasan has tried to call this drive to replicate, the original, the pure and the sacred as Sanskritization. Everything has to get symbolically castrated.  Everything has to shed its originality and become the copy of what is called the original of the original. That is why everyone has to echo a Sanskritic desire in our country. Our gods have to be born again. They had to be Sanskritized.  The local gods (for instance, bothnath Rawallnath, Pisonath, Chinchinath, etc) cannot exist on their own. They had to be born again in the image and likeness of Sanskritic gods of the Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava traditions. Similarly, our culture and our langue had to be born again. Food, dress code and even thinking have to be born again.  Therefore, staying within this thought. We shall understand why Konkani had to be nagrized. This is the phallic logic, the law of the father. Every other speaker of Konkani has to only repeat the pure and original tongue. This pure and the original also becomes sacred. This is why nargrization of Konkani reaches the holy ‘topos’, the place of God. Nagri becomes devnagri. The other scripts of Konkani have to imitate/ mimic the original, pure and standard Konkani. This Sanskritized standardization of Konkani is suicidal much like other classical languages (like Sanskrit, Greek and Latin) which died on the altar of standardization.

This is where our slavery to Phallic logic of our patriarchal and caste ridden society has taken us. The ‘Konkani monis’ (this term is chosen here to transcend the geographically reductive Goykar to embrace all speakers of Konkani) has gone away from the embrace of its mother to let the reign of the father prevail (nagrized Konakani). Freud has described this repression of desire of the son for the mother as Oedipus complex. The same complex repression of our desire is translated as Ganesha complex by the prolific Indian psychoanalyst, Sudhir Kakar. The father in the myth of Oedipus is replaced by Lord Shiva and mother is replaced by Goddess Parvati and Ganesha is the Indian Oedipus. Ganesha has to allow the perfect reign of the father to go on under the pain of being decapitated by his father Shiva.  This means castration phobia translates as decapitation Phobia in our society. Thus, a sense of loss that might make our society headless and leap into madness or anarchy is felt acutely. To save everything from falling into anarchy, we succumb to the phallic logic or Ganesha complex. 

The oedipalization or submission to the Ganesha complex has led us to singularize and hierarchize the plural scripts as wells dialects (forms) of Konkani. It has divided the ‘Konkani monis’ much like what we have in the Rigvedic hymn Purusha Sukta, where the original, pure and the sacred body is divided. This broken body keeps breaking/dividing our society. We seem to replicate this original and pure that schizolizes our society. This is why the ‘Konkani monis’ has become a schizo, a split person far removed from mother Konkani, our vibrant holistic culture and Goa. The embrace of the Konkani mai is constricted and is restricted. This has resulted in the shrinking of the embrace of ‘Konkani Monis’. Somehow we have succumbed to the law of the father and struggle to become sanskari and in this process have built walls of purity and pollution that has divided Konkani, Goanness, Goa and Goans. It is time to reclaim our mother. It is our challenge to expand the embrace of Konkani mai so that all her children are brought back into her embrace.  To achieve this we will have to dismantle the yoke of the pure, the sacred and the original and walk into the embrace of the impure, tainted, and counterfeit. Woman, outcastes, tribals and minorities have come to represent the impure, tainted and counterfeit in our country. That is why walking into the alms of our mother, Konkani mai means embracing our Konkani language, culture and life in all its plurality and vibrancy. Konkani mai her is not just mother tongue. It is literally mother of Goans in Goa and Goan diaspora and includes Goykarponn in all its shades as well as other Konkani speakers beyond Goa.  This movement also includes the aspirations of our bhaujan brethren for Marathi. Let us expand the embrace of Konkani Mai!   Going into the embrace of the mother takes us in to embrace of the other, who is today viewed as anti-national, impure and counterfeit. Therefore, its time that we embrace our (m)Other.     

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao