Thursday, 11 August 2011

Abhorrence and the Social Network

"Nature abhors a vacuum" -English Proverb

Narendra Modi is at it again. And now its cops who have to bear the brunt. For everyone who has ever submitted evidence against him, and still had the temerity to continue in his police force. Make no mistake, in Gujarat, he is God,and like every other politician/godman in this country, he has ego issues. Godhra was a side effect, and Gujarat, despite its newfound prosperity still finds it difficult to forget that notable communal scarring of its subaltern proletariat.

Communality, which is very different from communism, is an example of atavistic tradition gone horribly wrong. For you see, just like religion and bullock carts, communality was also useful, in its own time. Before it grew into a highly dichotomous and very fractious bone of contention between people. You see, nature abhors a vaccuum, and this leads all human beings to seek the company of other human beings. And while the dudes and dudettes of today may have upto a 1000 friends on their Facebook profiles, the people of yesteryear were limited to 150 or less. Their social circles were considerably constricted by their inability to commute long distances.

And as befits humans of a certain social standing, these people treated anyone outside their community to be a threat. And this lead to the formation of many rules, which, archaic as they may seem today, are still allowed to define the lives of people. Rules whose significance has been lost but still form the cornerstone of the lives of millions of people, and in some cases the reasons for their death. If consenting adults were not allowed to marry outside their community, it was to preserve the sanctity of their community. To preserve the gene pool that they evidently go into their heads was superior to that of all other communities. Homogeneity of religion, in order to preserve their cultural identity, and an inherent xenophobia in order to prevent cultural dilution.

What's important to keep in mind, is that while all this might have been culturally and socially relevant a few centuries ago, it is no longer feasible to have communities divided on cultural political or theosophical lines. It is not possible for us to ostracise or segregate other cultures based on the presumptuous belief that we are superior to others. Our social network is wider than it has ever been, and so is our global footprint. RIght wing parties in france want to halt the import of any materials that may be produced indigenously. This view is shared by most right wing parties across the world, as well as certain left wing parties and moderates. And while this may seem easy in theory, it is nearly impossible to implement.

For you see, the phone that you will answer in a little while may have been designed in Finland, or California or Japan, might have been assembled in China or Korea, or may, shockingly even, have been assembled in India. Our global is no longer global.

We are now glocal. And communities are no longer isolated. And(hopefully) religion will no longer exist.

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