February 13, 2018

Fringe Farragoes and the Sounds of Silence

In this New Indian Express article, Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Senior Fellow at IDFC Institute, talks about norms, alternatives and revisionism in Indian politics. Excerpts:


"Neeraj Shekhar and Ritabrata Banerjee, MPs, asked the HRD ministry if “the ministry believes that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of man is scientifically wrong” and if the ministry is planning to omit it from school curricula. Interestingly, on February 2, the minister, in reply to “Unstarred Question No 705” in the Rajya Sabha, stated: “There is no such proposal under consideration”. The matter has been put to rest—for now. 


The question why, though, persists. What is the mindset or motivation that triggers such utterances? For the record, leaders from other parties too have contributed to the babel - be it Mani Shankar Aiyar or Azam Khan. In Tamil Nadu, DMK MLA K N Nehru suggested students may resort to cheating. In Kerala, West Bengal and poll-bound Karnataka, threats are par for the course—and frequently political rant is misogynistic, on what women must eat, drink and wear. 


The utterances of members of the ruling front matter because there is a scent of sanction. It would be seductive to dub the utterances of individuals as the item songs of Indian politics, as farragoes of the fringe—except that the theme song triggers a deep sense of disquiet amidst enigmatic sounds of silence. There is madness and then there is a method, and frequently madness becomes the method. The fifth column, in regimes and nations, but resides within."


Read the whole article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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