The Denial of Birth Right

The politics of hate has consumed our society. The fire of hate campaigns refuses to extinguish. We seem to have set the Hobbesian state of nature in our society. Maybe if we ask what we are doing to the third party in this strive has the key to awaken us. The Hindu/Muslim politics unleashed by the ruling benches is steadily inflicting irreparable damage on mother India. It is mother India that interrogates the very logic of duels played to perfection by the right-wing in our society. It is high time that we come to terms with the fact that a house that is divided from within cannot stand. By dividing Indians into religious lines India cannot become strong. Hence, what this politics is doing to India is an important question.

The logic of binary opposition which is the backbone of Hindu/Muslim politics is on the denial of a third possibility. It is totally dependent on Aristotle’s principles of Identity, contradiction and excluded middle. The principle of identity states that a thing is itself. The principle of contradiction states that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. The principle of excluded middle states that a thing either is or is not. It is these three principles that form the boundaries of our thinking. It is this form of thinking that makes us submit to the idea that Hindus belong to the natural state of being Indians. It simply renders an illogical thought which says to be Indian one has to be Hindu uncritically accepted. We have the challenge to interrupt or disrupt this form of thinking by including the third possibility. Being Indian is not so much a matter of culture or faith. Being Indian is a matter of the Constitution. By Constitution, it is our birthright. The denial of this birthright is a denial of swaraj.

The third interrupts. It opens our minds. The third exists before the first and the second. We know that India is the third. It exists before Hindus or Muslims (or anyone). The other third is the Constitution. It too exists before Indian Hindus or Muslims. This interruption of the thirds manifests the disservice done to mother India by the right-wing politics. Hence, we need to open our eyes to the thirds. We have this shared responsibility to let our thinking and beliefs be interrupted by the inclusion of the thirds. We have a responsibility to the thirds, our mother India and the Constitution. Our response to the interruption of the thirds is always interruptive. The interruption into reigning politics by the introduction of the third party, mother India and our Constitution can disrupt, and interrupt its working. It shows how we are weakening our mother India by dividing it from within. Besides, politics of hate that draws the line between loyalists and betrayers based on religious life is denying the birthright of every Indian to belong to India

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao