Announcing The Monster
By Shah Alam Khan
18 May, 2014
Today was a difficult day to be an Indian. I consciously avoid saying "Indian Muslim" because the acceptance of fascists through a legalized democratic process is not an assault on Muslims alone……there’s much more at stake than mere battering of India’s largest minority. I won’t be wrong if I conclude that what is threatened is far less than what has already been lost in the cloud of dust raised by the jackboots of the approaching zealots. In fact in a democratic “number game”, the conceptualization of India and the essence of Indian constitution can so easily fall prey to bigots was unthinkable till today morning. The perils of parliamentary democracy could be revealed in such flagrant, naked way is what surprises all of us.
To presume that all is lost in the din is inanity par excellence. Remember what the greatest philosopher of our times Jacques Derrida had once said, “Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say: 'here are our monsters', without immediately turning the monsters into pets”.
The perception of the new regimen in Delhi should find meaning in what Derrida had said. We need to announce the monster. Discernment lies in thinking ahead of your enemy. Remember more than half of common Indians did not vote for this fascist regimen. Remember the tectonic plate, which connects India with Indians, has fault lines of caste, region and religion…so brittle that momentary glues cannot hold it together without an imminent danger of drifting apart on the slightest provocation. The need of the hour is to gel. Gel with Indians who think and breathe alike. To fortify institutions of hope. It’s not the time to sulk as Muslims but a time to mourn as Indians. There are signs of hope and optimism all around. We just need to clutch on these with all the force and will we have.
As for the dreams sold by Modi et al to a billion Indians, I am reminded of what Hannah Arendt had once said:
“The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true. ”
Shah Alam Khan, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
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