Administrating Fear and the Plight of Goa

Goans are experiencing a profound fear of a loss. It is an imminent fear of Goacide. It is not just fear of degoanization of Goa. It is more. It is the fear of the coming death of Goa. In several ways, we can notice that the Government is producing this fear. The so-called development that it is promoting is actually the site of production of this fear. Hence, we have the challenge to understand this psychopolitics. Psychopolitics has taken center stage globally. After 9/11, we seem to be administrating fear. We spend a lot of energy on governing fear. Our security industry is growing. Our airport security has become stricter. Impersonal invasive procedures are now accepted by us without question as they purport to stand for our safety.

Slavoj Zizek tells us that national security has become an ideology and we accept anything related to it without any contestation. Governments do not have to prove charges against anyone. It is enough to present a person as a threat to national security. We, then, silently accept the prospect of innocent languishing and even dying in the jail much like Fr. Stan S.J without feeling any qualm of conscience for not providing fair opportunity for trail. This administration of fear is paradoxically creating fear. It sends terrors into the spine of innocent citizens about the possibility of them being the next target. It then produces silent, passive, massified and frightened citizens.

The psychopolitics that was supposed to be guarding the citizens has paradoxically come back to haunt the citizens themselves. Thus, perhaps the dictum of American president Roosevelt has become our reality: ‘ the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. It is not just that citizens are haunted by fear. Governments are also under psychopolitics of fear and our out to administrate the fears of the people much like the industry that capitalizes on the fear through health insurance, wellness pharma etc. The politics of fear promises rich dividend and the politicians are using it for their advantage.

In this climate of fear, we may have to ask : how does fear works? Why are we afraid. Who benefits from this administration of fear? Who losses in this climate of fear? These and other questions are relevant to seek a response to the administration of fear we are facing today. Paul Virilio a French philosopher has raised some of these questions. Perhaps, we may get some insight into the administration of fear in our context in dialogue with his work. To our surprise, we will find that the source of our fear is not in the reigning terror and consequent securitization of our global movements. He says that it is the speed at which change is occurring that is producing fear in us. Terrorism and securitization are only ways of managing the fear. Thus, the terrorist is also afraid of the rapidly changing world around him and is using terror to allay that fear without really addressing it.

Much like the war on terror where a good liberal democracy is thought to be destroyed by the evil religious forces, the good age old religious traditions of India that were destroyed by the evil Muslim intruders and the colonizers are thought to be under threat. Hence, we still have a war on hand and it is waged by the ruling BJP. In Goa, we too are dragged into this war by racking the evils of the Portuguese rule like the destruction of the temples as well as valiant resistance of the of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj etc. This narrative certainly produces fear which than leads us to think that the very producers of this narrative of fear are our own protectors. The narrative of the West that says that free world is threatened becomes Hindu khatre mein Hai in our country. Thus, the very administration of fear ( which is a response to fear) fuels further production of fear. This results into the herding of the citizens who then as massified sacrifice their individual freedoms and surrender to the dictates of the one who plays their protector.

Virilio, in his book, Administration of Fear, teaches us that fears and security stems from the rapid change that we are facing today. He assigns the reason of this speed or dromology is the space and time overcoming technologies that are mushrooming around us. Virilio does not see this change as caused by some evil class. Yet he says that because we think that technology is innocent, we then fall to the conspiracy theory that blames a class for our ills and misery. Once we do this, we are on a slippery slope and we then become suspicious of the so-called evil class. This means the real reasons of our fear then can continue as we try to expel the demon of fear that is prompted up and is pushing us into vicious cycle of fears which only benefit those that divert our fears and blame them on some group evil people. Thus psychopolitics comes full circle and we become blind supporters of the one who claims to be our protector.

The rapid pace of development in Goa is actually producing our fears of Goacide. The crafty Government is trying to channelize the fear to the colonial past with some success. The real villain of the production of fear is rapid development pursued by the Government. The Government being afraid of being found out is hiding its face by diverting our attention to the wrongs of the colonizers that purports to villainize innocent minorities. Thus, the development that destroys Goa can go on and those who claim to be the protectors of the interest of the victims then can preside over the sale of Goa to the highest bidder. Thus, the psychopolitics that is reigning in Goa is destructing of Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. Some of us are co-opted in this destruction. History will manifest that those that support the present Government become party of this destruction. We, therefore, have the challenge to decode the mechanism of the administration of fear in our society. This would enable us to see how we are made to fight with each other while our land and other resources of Goa are handed over to the power-elite. Perhaps, it is time that we open our eyes to the real causes of our worst fears and understand how this fear is sought to be administrated to milk benefits to the ruling benches. This will enable us to resist the reigning psychopolitics. In resisting this psychopolitics that we will overcome our fears and fearlessly resist the development that destroys Goa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao