Death and Power

Death appears to be a private matter. Only Heroes and public figures and celebrities are remembered for their moments of becoming a corpse. The rest of us are lucky because our loved ones accompany our final goodbye to the world. Although it is personal and most intimate to the dying, it is also most public as those who have power over our death can play with our life.
Michel Foucault studied the technology of power in our society. He called the new technology employed by nation-states to discipline and control huge groups of people’s governmentality. Foucault taught that this new form of power administers life and disciplines us through medicine, law, police, public policy and much more. We are living in a disciplinary society. Governments use new technologies of power to control people under them.

We can see new forms of Biopower employed in our country. Hindutva is a Biopower that disciplines everyone in our country. Our Hindu brethren and the rest of us are under its governmentality. Foucault pointed out that there is inherent racism in the Biopower because the government can choose some populations to receive life while others could be left to the power of death. We can see this somehow drawn by the Hindutva politics of the BJP -RSS-VHP combines. Their public posture is discriminatory and ridden with hate. This form of Biopower is called Necropolitics by Achille Mbembe. He says that he wishes to complete Foucault’s analysis of power which only looks at administering life while forgetting death and the dying. This is why maybe we will be on the right side if we admit that we seem to have come under Necropower in our society. We seem to see that our politics is open to the subjugation of life to the power of death.

Hindutva is a Necropower that decides who is to be let live and who is to be let die. Initially, it was the sovereign who had the power to kill. Like the Nazi politics of the twentieth century, Hindutva has used the capacity to dictate who is to live and who has to die. It was the sovereign king who had the right of the sword to put to death the enemies of his people. We seem to facing a politics that has taken the right of the sword and raised it against the minorities. Will the majority community set aside their conscience and Hinduism and let Hindutva be the guide that will destroy our country? The Hindu brethren have the challenge to wipe away their own blood while they stand with the bloodthirsty politics of Hindutva. Hinduism is rich and noble enough not to let this amputating of its own limbs.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao