Restoring Mediality, Restoring a Shared World

There is an interesting anecdote told by Lewis Gordan. He says once an Anglican minister asked a boy: who fell the walls of Jericho. The boy promptly said, ‘ I did not do .’ We can sense a clear miscommunication between the boy and the minister. They do not seem to share a world of meaning between them. We may be reminded of Plato’s cave when one of the inhabitants of the cave slipped out of the cave and experienced the real world and came back to his brothers and told them about his experience of the new world, we can see a lack of shared experience of meaning between them. It is an instance of a lack of mediality. Maybe we find this lack growing alarmingly in our society.

Extremists in our society are talking at each other and failing to talk to each other. We have become interpassive. TV shows also do the laughing for us as well do the fighting for us during the prime time debate. our interpassivity has silenced us as the mediality of the media is also no more. The miscommunication and violence of Plato’s cave have become our reality This is a point where coloniality of colonization may be afflicting us. Colonial reality lacked mediality. It was unidirectional. There was no shared world. Colonization is over but coloniality is haunting us. Once again we are affected by a lack of mediality.

We are clearly refusing to accept a shared world in our country. Majoritarian politics is disowning the legitimate political as well as social status of minorities. The majority empowered by the brute power of its sheer numbers has disrupted the shared space of all Indians who have islandified themselves thinking that it will enable them to usher in a Hindu rastra. Colonization, therefore, has not ended by replacing foreign rule with the rule of our own people. Colonization will end with the end of relations of coloniality. Colonial reality and relations continue with the presence of coloniality of relations.

The lack of mediality is a clear indicator of the continuation of relations of coloniality. This is why we have to restore lines of communication as well as platforms of mediation. Argumentative Indians always had all channels of communication and mediation open. There was always a shared world. Unfortunately, it was disrupted under colonization and the continuation of the relations of coloniality meant that mediality was thrown to the dogs. We the people of India have the challenge as well as a noble task to open a shared world and set up channels of mediality in our society.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao