Addition as Subversion: Can Addition

Addition is a basic mathematical operation. It is regarded as simple and there is nothing much to say about it. As an idea, it might had been with humanity for very long time. Both addition and subtraction may have contributed a lot towards the process of civilizing of human beings. Because of its simplicity, it was not thought to be philosophically significant. Yet we can notice that addition can be subversive and not just one simply leading to enhancement of value. We can see this especially when we regard one as the highest value. This high valuation of one depends on the non-existence of the second. This means one acquires the highest value because one is without a second.

One is alone and there is no other than the one. It is under this situation, if we add another one, this added one become a rival and the hierarchical position of the earlier one that bestows the highest value for being one without seconds is contested. The one with the addition of another one cannot be a solo one. There is already a second to that one and therefore, authoritative location of the solo one is displaced. This means addition is not simple progressive combination . It can deconstruct power position of persons, places and the divine who derive their power position because they are one without the second.

Addition as subversion can be effected when one acquires exclusionary value. Let us say that the a certain person or a group of people acquire socially important and respectful location and to maintain that position, they have to abide by a definite dress code. Note that this dress code distinguishes them from other lay masses. Now if all those who are confined to be lay masses decide to wear the same dress reserved for those elite in the society, by this simple addition of a dress code, they will dislocate the power position of those elite in that society. This dress codes can be seen specially within religions. They are being used to robe the leaders as well as mark those persons involved in some important parts of religious rituals. We can also notice dress being used as a distinguishing and dignifying marker in Army, Hospitals, Hotels , Courts etc.

Addition can also dismantle a progressively growing plural numerical series. But such an addition requires that at least one of the items of the progressive numerical series is subsumed under higher notion. Thus, when high valued notion is added to one of the items of a progressive numerical series, the autonomy of the series is derailed and it is brought under the sway of the this additional value. We can notice these form of addition being used by the upper caste in India, who by adding their God to the plural gods of the people convert the plural gods as the avtars or forms of their God. Thus, the local folk deity then gets added to the pantheon of the upper caste. Therefore, in this context we can also find how addition becomes subversion leading to the suction of the folk deities into the pantheon of the upper castes.

Subversion is political. Addition when used to subvert can become political. What we have said above shows that addition is political and is indeed subversive. We can see how the ruling BJP subverts the opposition, particularly by adding Congress leaders to its ranks. What we have today is Congressized BJP. It is constructed by a simple operation of addition. But to effect this simple operation of addition, the ruling benches had to do what has been called operation lotus which includes money bags, promises of ministries or shielding from constitutional agencies like CBI and ED. The politics of addition is indeed at work in our society. It is mainly used by the power-elite and rarely by the simple people

People of Maharashtra specially those agitating for reservation for the Marathas have decided to field 1000 candidates in some constituencies in Maharashtra and render the EVMs useless. The people are ready to fund those candidates and pay Rs. 25000 that are required for the filling up their candidature forms for the Lok Sabha elections. The addition of 1000 candidates simply make the EVMs irrelevant and unusable. EVMs cannot simply handle these many numbers of candidates. People do not think that they are wasting money to field these many candidates. They are using subversive dimension of addition to save democracy and bring back ballot papers as they do not trust the EVMs. Already the collector of Dharashiv district has communicated his fears to the election commission that the Maratha community may field too many candidates and the EVMs may not be able to handle them.

What the Maratha community is doing might inspire others in our country to fight the imposition of election through EVMs. People may get volunteers ready to spend 25000 as well as lose the election to save democracy. The political acumen of the Maratha community in Maharashtra has shown the way. While the anti-EVM agitation is spreading all across the county, if the people’s voice is not heard by the election commission and the Government, people can still find a way to save democracy and get the election commission to conduct the election using ballot papers. Indeed, an addition, an operation in mathematics can be a great tool of resistance in this context. It does have the power to derail the opaque and potentially manipulatable mode of election through EVMs. It seems that people have decided to become baazigars. A Baazigar wins by losing. People have decided to use addition and subvert the imposition of EVMs and win even when those additional candidates that they have fielded lose. In all this complex drama of addition, it is our democracy that will come out victorious.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao