The Performatics of India/Bharat

Are we facing an INDIA-cide? The unity of the opposition and its appropriation of INDIA as an acronym seems to have led to the nervous BJP to pronounce a death sentence on India. It appears INDIA has amassed a critical force that seems to have snuffed the ground under the feet of the ruling BJP. To understand what is churning out in our society, we have to enter the performatics of our society. We as a society have already undergone a performative turn with the rise of Modi. PM is imaged as a performer. His speeches, election rallies, road shows, inaugural rituals of projects have become theatrical. The theatre of politics has come full circle with the peformatics of the prime time television debates. This is why maybe it give us insight who the unity of opposition has introduced a peformatics that has deconstructed the monopoly of BJP-RSS-VHP combined over everything Indic.

Indeed, by choosing to name its alliance INDIA, the opposition has opened a new field of power play. This move seems to have taken away the spectacularity of the spectacle dimension of the BJP and hollowed its triumphalist stance. BJP cashing on the political performatics and media dramatics has converted the Indian national election into quasi quasi-presidential form taking one all-powerful charismatic leader in PM Modi. Today it is facing its own music as it is in danger of losing visibility in the political theatre of our society. The opposition with its visible unity has suddenly began to gain credibility as it laid claim over INDIA that legitimized BJP’s ideological position. This is why the rumours that the Government is trying to strike down the name INDIA of our country sound authentic.

But if this is true, than such a reactionary response can only arise as a result of a sense of loss of performative dynamism and energy. This sense of loss seems to have put BJP under performance pressure. BJP seems to have sensed the libidinal displacement of the flows of psychic energies that it had controlled so far. This suggests that the pragmatic value or shelf life of its own Indic appropriation is fast eroding. As a result it is fast becoming clear that the emperor is naked. It has become crystal clear that the emperor has failed to deliver on the scale of development of our nation. Economic mess, rising prices, growing unemployment is giving new ammunition to the opposition to fire at the ruling BJP This means alliance of the opposition has illumined the dark hiding spaces of the BJP exposing its theatrics.

The theatricality as a medium of politics seems to be dying when it comes to the BJP. The theatre continues live. It has simply changed its heroes, villains , plot and the narrative. Yesterdays heroes are fast becoming villains of today. BJP that had used theatricality as political medium appears to be on the vaining under the new regime of theatre. The present debate over of the name of our country maybe an attempt of the ruling BJP to regain its diminishing power over the theatre of politics in our society. It seems to be its strong effort to put a halt on the slipping ground under its feet. Suddenly the name or term INDIA has become pollutant to the BJP and is therefore out to expel it. How can the reality we name as INDIA be a stigma? Will the expulsion of name India will change the reality it names?

India is not just a name. It is a reality and is its own representation. It is not opposite of BHARAT. INDIA does not undo BHARAT. INDIA is BHARAT. If one cancel’s INDIA one also cancels BHARAT. This means INDIA-cide is necessarily a BHARAT-cide. They are interchangeable and are not in a relation of opposition. Neither they are reduceable to each other. BHARAT, therefore, cannot replace INDIA. BHARAT is not a copy of INDIA neither INDIA is a contamination and BHARAT is its purification. It is exactly because of this that acronym I.N.D.I.A of the opposition gets its subversive power. By expelling INDIA from naming the reality it stands , there appears to be a well thought out strategy to control the subversive power of the term INDIA appropriated by the opposition. But such an action will do violence to BHARAT that is intimately linked with INDIA.

Hence, it is important that we truly decode the relation between INDIA and BHARAT. INDIA is not a mimesis of BHARAT. INDIA does not mimics BHARAT and BHARAT also does not mimic INDIA but they are inseparable . INDIA mimes BHARAT and BHARAT mimes INDIA. They both recount the reality that they name. There is no dichotomy between them as between the original and its copy. BHARAT is not original and INDIA its copy. They mime the same reality but do not do it in the same way. There is not mimesis or copying at play. Both mime the same reality and produce each other while the reality that they name remains in a dynamic free play and Both INDIA and BHARAT mime it. INDIA and BHARAT take on a performative character in miming the reality that they name. Hence, doing away with INDIA will certainly damage BHARAT as well as the reality that they name. It is for us to work hard to not let the theatre of cruelty to play in our society.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao