Wounded Attachments

Wendy Brown

By essentializing and codifying our citizenship to mean merely and only Hindu are we strengthening citizenship and democracy or this new massification of the Hindu community is strengthening the state and its power? Is it what political scientist Wendy Brown calls ‘wounded attachment’? We can identify several indicators of dis-empowering of Citizenship like converting plural Hinduism to religion of singular book as it is sought for now in Gujarat or so call re-construction of only Hindu heritage temples from the Portuguese era in Goa.Would not our hasty and uncritical efforts to set so-called wrongs and in justices of the past right become equally unjust legacies for the future generations to resolve and seek healing? What happens when a broken past breaks our present? Shall we let the wounds of the past wound our present and our future? Shall we embrace wounding the other as a healing of our wounds? Shall we take to unfreedom as freedom? Will the sovereign citizen of our country become a massified Hindu? Will massification make a strong India? Who really benefits from the massification of our majority? Shall we moralize aversion and hate in the name of a great religion like Hinduism? We seem to be welcoming a walled society and waned sovereignty.

What Nietzsche called resentiment seems to have become the general condition of societies afflicted by identity politics. Resentiment to Nietzsche is the revenge of the weak. The weak he says has his revenge by moralizing. Even when the weak is large in number, the weak nurtures a powerlessness that sees the causes of its condition in the fault lines of the past. This sense of a lost past produces a sense of having lost the game of life. Now this condition is not because of God as people thought in the medieval times or because of our past karma as we thought in our country for a long time. Belief in karma lays the blame at the door steps of the self. It appears that Indian modernity has dismantled our belief in the law of Karma. Now there is no karma to lay the blame for our misery. Hence, we naturally make the other scapegoat for our plight. This paradoxically led to identity politics. Such a condition provides the self perceived weak opportunity to attach the wounds of past to newly deemed villains. Paradoxically these wounded attachments continue to wound our society in search of healing.

The weak do not go on the path of resentiment all by themselves. Following Wendy Brown, we may say that it is the powerful who instigate the weak to take the Nietzschean path of resentiment. Perhaps it is their way of guarding their winning positions. They position the weak on the line of fire and put them on an attack against other weaker competitors like the minorities.This is why the weak who have been transformed into aggressors wounds in search of healing takes it on itself as a moral responsibility to wound and heal the past. This is so because the weak is convinced that it has healing only in wounding. Unfortunately, we seem to have come to wounded attachments that wounds to heal. No one can heal oneself by wounding others. Indian modernity has not just led us to forget karma but it has led us to forget ethics too. This is why we may have to say that though it is a paradox, we can chant Jai Shree Ram and kill without any qualms of conscience. Hence, may be the steps that we take to strengthen and preserve Hinduism ( like teaching Bhagvad Gida etc) are actually weakening it. It is our wounded attachments that are wounding us, our country and Hinduism itself. India is waiting for healing of our wounded attachments.

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