Tag Archives: communalism

Affirmative action, Identity politics and Divisiveness.

Where is the place for looking at space defining interventions within identity politics in South Asia?

One State Solution

One often finds that the Indian political landscape or to put it largely, the South Asian Political landscape ridden with extremely tight notions of identity.Understandably because of the region’s history with the idea of religion and politics that grew around it.

As a consequence of this, people that want to speak of these ideas find themselves on a no man’s land between tight lipped conservationists and sometimes tighter liberationists.

If you don’t want speak of a revolution then where might be the space to speak in ways that are new and innovative? What is the language in which you are going to pitch your discourse of identity if you do not draw from existing discourses?

Somehow, No one wants to listen.

Read between my lines.Please.

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Image thanks to my new best friend.

from the past.


Janamatha

Rethinking previous work is necessary.This is one of the photos that spawned off the Shivajinagar Signs project that Namita Malhotra and I did.

And a similar Sarai project on Street-Signs in the city of Pune called Vaartaphalaks spawned off this train of enquiry.

We addressed questions of divisive material, but these issues come back again and again.
Living in Gujarat and then coming back to where you grew up, a largely undivided atmosphere, (although changing).

Saint God, Communalism, Divisiveness.

None of these terms have stand alone meanings.

What about terms like fundamentalism?

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Shivajinagar Signs is now a flickr pool for everyone interested in contributing to it and adding to our archive.Bismillah 🙂

Both these projects were facilitated by Sarai Independant Fellowship Grants.

The demystification is on…

…….

OSSW’07, 12 days since, from Easy Street

Leaving you with some sound bytes at the end of what is going to be a bi-annual event, the One State Solution Week, September 2007 has urged you think about:

Democracy: Government of the people, by and for the people. Wherein an individual attains his full capability and is nurtured, physically, economically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.

A democracy entails substantive freedoms, such as choice, rights to livelihood and well-being for all it’s citizens.Critics of the democratic system say that often, a democracy implies the rule of the majority, and since this is often the case, the system needs to be nudged in the direction of non-centralised local, participatory and communitarian frameworks.

Communalism: Politics that seeks to unite on the basis of shared values , such as faith. The word communalism has its roots in the ‘commune’ or the ‘commune of communes’, or the ideal community. It implies a municipal system for ruling or governing.

In South Asia, especially India, the meanings and ramifications of communalism have been distorted partly because of it’s implications within a democracy. Communalism has been implemented on the lines of religion and has been divisive and propagandistic, because of the history of religion in the subcontinent.

See the Wikipedia entry here.

Nuclear Energy and Weapons: The world’s energy requirements can be met by two ways: the hard energy path and the soft energy path.

The hard energy path uses potentially non-renewable resources and is irreversibly destructive of the environment*.It requires a very technologically adept work force and high capital investment. Hard Energy Paths include fossil fuels, coal and oil, nuclear power plants and hydro-electric power plants.

The soft energy path uses renewable and environment friendly, locally viable means to make electricity.Soft energy paths include solar,wind, bio-mass alcohol, bio-gas and many more lesser known technologies.

These definitions were built by Amory Lovins who is the Founder of the Rocky Mountain Research Institute for energy resources in America , and a passionate advocate for sustainable energy around the world.Here is an interview of him at the California based Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility website.

Alice Miceli is an artist trying to capture images of radiation in the Exclusion Zone at Belarus, where the Chernobyl Reactor was. An exclusion Zone is a cordoned site with contamination of grave levels. The Chernobyl Exculsion Zone is between Belarus and Ukraine in Europe. She documents her project at this blog.

The Chernobyl Disaster occurred when a plant in the Chernobyl Reactor exploded, and needs to be examined from the view-point of the viability of nuclear energy.

The Indian Nuclear programme has been seriously under-debated considering the enormous ramifications of the implications of both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

The nuclear arms race in South Asia is largely a consequence of post-Partition animosities, and the tussle with India’s neighbour, China. India’s foray into nuclear technology was early, with the Indian Atomic Energy Commission being established just a year after Indian Independance.Pakistan set-up its Atomic Energy Comission in 1956, after its devastating defeat in the Bangladesh War.

From Dr Raja Ramanna’s, former weapons scientist,

“There was never a discussion among us over whether we shouldn’t make the bomb. How to do it was more important. For us it was a matter of prestige that would justify our ancient past. The question of deterrence came much later. Also, as Indian scientists we were keen to show our Western counterparts, who thought little of us those days, that we too could do it.”

[Chengappa 2000; pg. 82]

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So that’s it from us (me and SS).But there is more to come.

Thanks also to all the minds that gathered at the Sarai reader-list!

Since this a bi-annual event, interested people are invited to be a part of its conceptualization, planning and execution. In the green-room is a web-site, and hopefully some cultural mish-mash, real time!

A big Thank You, Salaam, Khushamdeed, Dhanyavaad… to everyone who wrote, blogged, thought, dissented or watched from the sidelines.Please keep the faith!

E-mail your responses and suggestions to onestatesolution@gmail.com.

And keep thinking! BIG!

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*George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,’ Metaphors We Live By’, 1980

Visual from the Street Sign Generator at the Generator Blog.

Where is the other in you?

What you said about the One State Solution Week, 2007.


 

Two responses of ‘mainstream’ women.

‘I think the question – and therefore a possible ‘answer’ – can be phrased differently. What needs to help the violence in the sub-continent abate? What do we need to do for peace?

 

And one possible solution to that is not, I personally feel, a campaign against nations and nationalities because that can be historically difficult to comprehend and to change; it is to turn the issue of borders upside down, and to recognise that so much of nationhood is ‘imagined communities’ – different depending on who imagines, and what they imagine… In which case, we can be one state of mind… one state of imagined peace, of harmony, of non-violence. Some of us across the artificial, geographical borders of South Asia already do – to some extent – share this state of being. We share cultural habits of hospitality, social habits like films (!) and best of all, political beliefs in peace.

 

However, for the future, this imagined community needs to be louder, more visible, more powerful. It needs to express this vision of a shared sub-continent of peace. And pragmatically, it needs to push the fact that cooperation, rather than conflict, is better for trade, for finance, for security and ultimately, for the well-being of our people.’

Anasuya Sengupta, ‘One State of Mind‘.

One state solution is a very attractive idea but i don’t think it is feasible. I know I speak very bluntly and seculars don’t like my views. But I speak what I really feel; I don’t care for secular image/credentials.

 

Why this idea is not possible because
(1) Muslims cannot live peacefully with other communities.

 

(2)Hindus in pre-partition society were different, they were naive, they were ready to go to any extent to appease their Muslim ‘brothers’. It was easy for mahatmas to suppress feelings of those wounded refugees who had to leave their everything in Pakistan.
Now I don’t think Hindus can be fooled so easily.

 

(3)seculars (of course Hindus) will never try to understand the real nature of the problem so naturally whenever any communal problem arises they try to equate RSS with Muslim fanatics/terrorists, secondly they will always remember ‘Gujarat’ but will never dare to mention ‘Kashmir’. (See your mail in which you have done the same thing).
As long as these seculars exist in the society communal tension will always prevail.

 

If Muslims follow leaders like dr. APJ Abdul Kalam or Jinnah of 1920 then only Hindus should support One State Solution.’

 

Vedavati Jogi, in response to an initiatory mail.

 

 

 

*Please note: the graph is an artistic statement, and was not plotted with demographical data.Any dispute/protest is welcome.And the two responses are set-up by way of contrast, not comparision.