Monday 26 September 2016
facebook.com/Outlookindia twitter.com/outlookindia digimag.outlookindia.com instagram.com/outlookindia youtube.com/user/OutlookMagazine

India Can’t Be Unicultural

We are getting deeper into the politics of segregation. Segre­ga­tion breeds even more seg­­­­r­e­gation.
Amit Haralkar

Right-wing parties all over the world exploit the majority population’s inherent intolerance for religious, racial and other minorities. Indian politicians are no different, except we live with the false sense of security that India is more unicultural than new world countries or we feel that those different from mainst­ream/mainland Indians will ultimat­ely toe the line. First of all, we must come to terms with the fact that India is not and cannot be unicultural. It is this conflict that creates greater tension and violence, creating chasms rather than self-identified boundaries. There are already so many divisions in society and, as a result, we have a history of representational politics. At the local level, there is caste-based politics. At the state level, there is community-based politics. And now as a nation, we are drifting further into community-based politics. This will create greater social fragmentation and destroy whatever chance we have of achieving social equity and a sense of pride in our diverse cultures. 

Advertisement

What’s scary is not Modi as PM, but the grounds on which he is being chosen as our leader. We are getting deeper into the politics of segregation. Segre­ga­tion breeds even more seg­­­­r­e­gation. Is this the oppressive society we want to live in? Modi is also offering economic developm­ent as a campaign promise, but that can never be achie­ved without social development. Modi is explicitly offering regression in our social evolution. What is frightening is that this seems acceptable to a majority of Indians. This can have serious consequences, which will affect even our economic growth. We are looking at a possible civil war, or social anarchy. Ultima­t­ely, the majority will suffer as severely as the minorities are suffering today.

I had written Final Solutions in the early ’90s, a play about the brewing pogrom of ethnic cleansing by right-wing parties. Perhaps it’s time to rev­ive those themes. I feel the issue of censorship will only get worse under a right-wing government. It begins with the arts; the next stop, as we have already seen, is education. And when we censor education, we are breeding segregation in young people’s minds, lying to them, taking away their compassion and creative faculties. As an artist, I’m not going to let what I see as a possible cultural lobotomy happen and will continue to focus on this issue.

Advertisement

The problem is, as a nation, we don’t see these signs of cultural annihilation early enough, we only react when there is a crisis. Also, our conscience can be easily bought by a broad road and a dam; we forget humanity too easily. I’m a proud Hindu and will continue to oppose anti-Hindu values such as violence and antipathy.

The issue I foresee is more than just about one person, one Modi—it’s going to be about all those people who are anti-humanity, those who have been singing to the tune of “we can now put Muslims in their place”.

As told to Neha Bhatt

Remember Rule Of The Recall Regressive Wave Won’t Hold
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
OUTLOOK ON TWITTER
POLLS

In 1999, India and France entered into a $3.5 billion deal for the supply of these submarines. The first of the 6 subs is out on sea trials for the last three months and is to be commissioned later this year. At this stage, a newspaper in Australia has revealed secret data on the submarines, plausibly stolen from India. Indian Defence authorities have ruled out any pilferage of data from India.

POLL STARTED ON: Aug 26, 2016
Quiz
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016
Advertisement