“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”Henry David Thoreau
The essence of an idea of a nation lies with its imagination. The recent consistent onslaught on its idea is gravely frightening and purely a stellar hallmark of a nation drifting into its darkest times. The upsurge of these forces has remained widely successful in creating chasms through the fault lines of the social and academic landscape.
An avalanche of constructive critiques was unfurled through “Nationalism without a Nation in India” (Aloysius 1999) and “Debrahmanising History: Dominance and Resistance in Indian Society” (Braj Ranjan Mani 2006) while invoking an afresh look to the idea of India. During the last half of the century, major deliberations jolted India for its civilisational infantilism.
Raja Rammohun Roy spearheaded the movement to debase and ban the medieval practices, which was fiercely opposed by the then socio-economic elites who immunise their contents of fanaticism in the name of traditions. The incident was the major breakpoint to overthrow the majoritarian colonial injustices.
The tradition of dehumanising the soul remained concomitant with feudal forces intertwined with a surge of pseudoscience and unreason. The core values of humanism, rationalism and universalism had always been assaulted through religious indoctrinations and obsessive ritualisation of religiosity. India saw a miasma of non-secular values mingled with majoritarian political agenda on its horizon with an emotive garb of nationalism.
During the freedom struggle, Mohandas Gandhi tried to relocate the concept of rationalism by uniting the nation dispersed in lines of religion, caste, ethnicity and language. Through a spiralled process India emerged as a nation obliged to rationality, equality and fraternity. Surely the ideals of Bhagat Singh, BR Ambedkar, JL Nehru, VB Patel played a pivotal role in shaping modern India. An utter disregard to those ideas started rising to its zenith by marginalising the dispossessed from dignity, justice and equality. The dominant voices have successfully been able to veneer the voice of the voiceless populace from the public and liberal discourses.
With its nasty shackles, the same forces have been able to take a firm grip on its machinery of deprivation along the spectrum ranges from education and healthcare to employment and justice. Colonial constructs remained intrinsically anti-thesis towards all forms of plurality threatening the federal structure. Those hostile forces come with an expansionist surge to impose singularity and homogenization of identity, culture, language and sartorial preferences.
Needless to say, our ethos of humanism came from the millennia of struggle against several colonial and hostile forces. Any nation always requires its countrymen inclines in the lines of love, compassion and mutual respect towards caste, creed, gender, culture and linguistic preferences. The proponents of absolutist and chauvinistic emotions are always trying to impede the onward march of the constitutional moralities with their so-called majoritarian mandate and making inroads to superimpose the ideas of singularity which is putting a normative conflict of modernization of consciousness.
Emergence of Cognitive Emergency:
“The world is suffering from lack of faith in a transcendental truth.”Renouvier
In 1963, Neil Smelser described the ability to mobilise social movements lies with structural conduciveness and spread of generalised belief. An ideology which appeals to social strata and explains the problems of them with a metanarrative of human emancipation will be more prone to propagate. According to AJ Mayer (1970), the well-formulated philosophy of fascism considers “Whereas revolution can be conceived as a coherent idea and utopian vision that have found bayonets, a counter-revolution is the nature of bayonets in search of fabricated idea and millenarian change”.
Fascists are always considered to be a halting force for the fundamental democratisation of society and devised to create a mass base of pre-emptive counter-revolution. In everywhere in the contemporary state power, fascist propagandists in the garb of self-styled state leaders peddle to legitimise every untruth as long as it serves to further its movement. Its colossal followers are made to believe that their individual values, their beliefs and rule of relevance are at odd with those residing across virtual borderlines should be tied with the ‘nationalistic’ emotion and are sided with a stark inclination of believing the totalitarian state as the sole metapolitical arbiter of truth in every aspect keeping out their self-validating knowledge from their socio-cognitive horizon. The aspiring public discourses argue that freedom evolves not with individualistic liberties but in unquestionable fidelity towards the mighty state.
Rise of Fascism and Funeral of Reason:
“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.”George Orwell
The aesthetic spirit of fascism holds the idea not only to carry a mere revolt against reasons but a continual embracing of animosity towards every aspect of democratic values and questioning the inseparability of science and reason. Fascists often seek refuge in myth, madness and promotion of occult practices. They, the worst enemies of modern society, patronise the forces that scornfully deride science without evidence and espousing their sides to debase the status quo of established principles of science. They sow the seeds of doubts in minds who still reside beyond the reach of science.
Science relies on the preponderance of evidence which is a precursor to the direction of truth. With the cycle of scrutiny, re-scrutiny and reproducibility, making itself immune the science makes faith as defenceless. The current political establishment is hell-bent in every deed to put individualistic faith in direct confrontation with science. The structure of social stands can only be strengthened by upholding the scientific temper etched in our constitution while delivering daily governance.
If the spirit of words and deeds are substituted by the forces of violence the scientific temperament takes a back seat and thereby giving an uncontested space to tyrannical and oppressive forces, such a sick society is prone to blind adherence and uncritical thinking and all form of doubts will deliberately be used to shield prejudices and traditions to halt the onward march of truth. Then the codes of the hymn, endurance, loyalty, and unquestioning allegiance to might immersed with spirituality will be inclined to be on the inexorable rise.
The supreme’s opinion and proposition are being made the sole criteria for the demarcation of right against wrong and any refusal to sycophancy will be considered to be declared treason. This is surely blurring the distinction between facts and fictions with a dismissal of truth upon the cacophonous steam of deceit. Ignorance coupled with obliviousness and avidness to power emerges as the most ferocious archenemy of justice can ever have. It’s always been the desire of time and nature to come out of eerie silence and defuse the hostile forces avowed to put an end to the predominance of science, reason and democratic values.
Mostaid Ahmed, an independent thinker and social science nomad, has done his PhD in Applied Mathematics and he is currently associated with a Kolkata-based university. He is an avid reader, and he is interested in analysing contemporary socio-political school of thoughts.