Nation: Another Solidarity is Possible

29 08 2007


Over the past two weeks this column has tried to demonstrate the futility, rather danger, of continuing with the Nation and its “ism” as a political community in today’s world. While some readers may even be willing to accept the logic of this secular heresy, the common response would be, what is the alternative? What political community is possible other than the Nation in today’s world? Would it not be a costly political mistake to attempt a destruction of the Nation when there is no alternative? Read the rest of this entry »

The Narrow Domestic Walls of Nationalism

22 08 2007


India, by most accounts, is seen as among the more successful examples of post-colonial nationhood. Former leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, a working democracy which has managed to retain the secular nature of its state, a successful economy which is now an “emergent superpower”, India is being feted globally on completing 60 years of its independent nationhood. Even a look at the colonial period indicates that the moulding of the peoples living under the British rule into a nation called India was a creative exercise in achieving freedom. Read the rest of this entry »

Six Decades of Freedom and Nationhood

15 08 2007


This is the time for all columnists to hold forth on the achievements and shortcomings of six decades of our independence. Hundreds of thousands of trees have been sacrificed to produce the newsprint needed to print long column inches to celebrate the independence of our nations from colonialism. Much has been written about what has been good and what has been bad in the past 60 years of our independent republics’ existence; of whether the defining word for 1947 is independence or partition; of whether in the final analysis these 60 years have been a success or a failure; of who our villains and heroes have been.

So can this columnist save himself from the temptation to jump into the ring with his own list of high and lows? Perhaps I can, and I will do this by arguing for the necessity of the death of the nation in the era of the success of globalisation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Inevitability of Piracy

8 08 2007


We are all pirates today! Specially those of us who live in what is called the Third World. One would be hard pressed to find a person who has not bought an “illegal” copy of either music, films, books or software. But these are only those who can afford the luxury of both surplus income to spend on entertainment and the luxury of surplus time to partake of leisure. Even the poorest of the poor would have sustained “piracy” when they bought medicines which infringed patents drawn in the First World or similarly, bought seeds to cultivate their half acre plot. Read the rest of this entry »

Authenticity: Hypocrisy’s Evil Twin

1 08 2007


The mark of industrial society is the mass produced commodity. The abiding motif of the factory is the assembly line, the heartless whirring machine that works relentlessly to produce thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or even millions of the same product with dependable regularity. Regularity both in manufacturing a certain quantity in a given time as well as in the quality of the product – its attributes.

One pair of shoes will be identical to the thousand others of the same model, one piece of paper will be of the exact same texture, size and colour as the million others, one spoon will be the exact replica of all others from the same factory. One bar of chocolate will be identical to the million others in colour and taste, a McDonald’s burger claims uniformity of taste in all its global outlets, while the authentic Coke (Coca Cola) aspires to the same tang anywhere in the world. Read the rest of this entry »