Am I apolitical?

By Basarath Hassan

Common connotation of politics is no lesser than a devil incarnation. Generally, politics is conceptualized and perceived as evil and something immoral, depraved, trashy, and done for massive selfishness. But equally momentous is a kind of discourse that is generated to rationalize rampant and scandalous ideologies. Politics at times could be seen as a way of life, but the question is why its narration is being politicized. Here by politicization I mean negative repercussion.

With every passing day politics is gaining wider currency. From local Panchayat to national assembly, research centres to religious institutions, marriage ceremonies to funeral procession, politics has become inseparable but discursive reality. Then, how astute it is to be apolitical? what would be the narration of being a political, either , a state of mind where I alienate from the Juggernaut of power politics, power dynamics and political structure or denial from a kind of social reality.

Often I come across arguments where people, even the educated faction convey their heatedness towards the entirety of politics and they try to embark on counter ideology______ I am apolitical. But what it really means to be apolitical when political determinism is deciding the destiny of nations, span of individual survival and course of modern political establishments or nation states. In façade of being apolitical, I am actually nothing but a product of this ever arching political system. In dianoetic terms politics is vital institution of almost every social structure, thus my very existence as an individual means I have a contract, whether intentionally or unintentionally I am adhering to normative political behaviour. For instance, my relationship with market as a customer. Whether I know the prevailing norms or policies of market I do come in contact with market and stand witness to exploitative consumerism. Mere disassociation with electoral process does not mean I am a political; my silence could be the reason for despotic or authoritative governance. Thus in a sense apolitical is a kind of politics in itself.

It reminds me of Karl Marx, “power comes at the silence of majority” this politics of silence add to our valor of witnessing appalling injustice and yet made to believe, be patient and wait for justice.

In my very introduction I emphasized on discourse even, philosophers like Michel Foucault, Rousseau, and Stuart mill emphasized on generated discourse. In this politics of power expansion, typology, knowledge and discourse remains point of contention, they do provide the legitimate base and justify the unjustified one. Question is then, how my political consciousness is shaped. No doubt different institutions and agencies work together like politics, economy, religion, media, law, et cetera and shape my sociality. Thus, my socialization is nothing but sheer influence of all these institutions, debatable remains the originality of consciousness. The political consciousness where I am supposedly made to believe that apolitical is answer to political dominance is nothing but mere false consciousness. False consciousness is premeditated attempt by those who are at the helm of affairs— state, bureaucracy or religious leaders.

Even at times we are made to believe politics is something like black-box, whereby the political hegemonies goes unchallenged and indeed unquestioned. The trajectory of a political is catastrophic, promoting culture of silence. In due course of time apolitical camouflage prevails and helps in nascent, politics of silence. It reminds me of Karl Marx, “power comes at the silence of majority” this politics of silence add to our valour of witnessing appalling injustice and yet made to believe, be patient and wait for justice. Unpretentiously I don’t know, when my colour, caste, race, religion, age, sex, was politicized. Unknowingly I was solid to this competitive market of politics. Politics was perceptible at my home, college, university, office, et cetera. My definition of justice, liberty, moral, and norm was constructed rather being authentic to my individuality. My competency of articulating something as my choice was never my choice but something already instilled in my mental strata by affluent and powerful political sources.

Modern technology and surveillance mechanism has expanded this political supremacy, hospitals, airports, express highways, passports, ID’s, booming telecommunication; gratuitous media are excellent examples of techno-political governance. In day-to-day life we undergo ordeals such as finger printing, blood tests or urine tests thus present human life is restrained by constant monitoring and surveillance system , to the extent that construction of relationships are mediated by modern political strategies. Yet, I believe I am apolitical?

Basarath Hassan is a student of Philosophy in School of social sciences, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Delhi.

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