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India's grand and arrogantly proud Self-imagination and the collateral damages

Keithellakpam Johnson *

Manipur on India Map
Manipur on India Map :: Pix - Wikipedia



There is nothing to question and doubt the fact that the India as of today was one of the earliest cradles of Human Civilization. Noble Ideas and materials used to originate in this place and spread far and wide across the globe and simultaneously there used to have the reverse phenomena of inflows through human migrations and conquests from different directions and the interactions that ensued with the earlier settlers.

This to and fro interactions has have a distinctive influences and imprints across this immensely vast landscape with diverse human identities. Despite this fact there is a persisting contestation and confusion or manipulation in resolving a full range of doubts in the present modern India tryst for a unified and expanding nation building agenda.

In this context numerous questions and doubts can be appropriately posed or thrown up.

Did India have a unified self-imagination across the full spectrum of social-cultural-political right from the antiquity? If it had then what it is and if it had not then when it did start imagining a unified self chronologically.

Further, is this unified self just only a dominant one sprang up as a byproduct in a particular moment of the chronological time needs a seriously critical as well as humble research and rethinking due to the present fact and reality that is India as of today?

There is a strong suspicion and something very intriguing in view of the present reality that is the India as of today as it has been and is still attempting to prolong the hierarchically opaque layers of social barrier as well as control engendered or enforced by the doubtful rather dominant self-imagination which allegedly and stubbornly claiming to be the unified national self-imagination and the arrogantly pride associated with the carriers and professors of this viewpoint with disdain or scornful gaze for those social-cultural others which has major cultural imprints or has remotely similarity of the discourses that had their origins from this vast landscape since antiquity or in recent times on one level.

And at another level, there is a systematic or otherwise interplay and interactions as well as counter-moves and reactions at the plane of this dominant self-imagination with the adoptions and propagation of a varied range of modern ideas, institutional structures and conventions with severe consequences and collateral damages to those weak or unprepared as well as historically suppressed or socially fettered and controlled through, may be or precisely, a germinal variant of this dominant and arrogant self-imagination in the historical course of its evolution.

The shadow of this self-imagination has its overarching grip in varying degrees over all the affairs be it in the private interactions, inter-relationships as well as in the thinking public across all the national/mainstream manifestations in the realm of social-cultural-political dynamics and pursuits.

This collateral damages has also been starkly and profusely incurred by a vastly significant other that is the so called North-East India with this exotic area's unique share of the colonial constructions and divisions as well as the after-effects of de-colonization's confusion and chaos with the associated dreams of restoration, mobilization and consolidation of or rather uniquely evolved pan-national identities across this significantly other 'indigenous' and the nurtured confusingly crisscrossing networks of vested interests all combined to create an admixture which made the damages potentially a fatal cocktail.

Intended extra-constitutional measures as well as national security perspectives and strategies mainly based on that arrogantly proud self-imagination with some humanely-coated institutional and administrative structuring and re-structuring have been having a field-days since the inception of the integration or rather the union with this area employing the historically proven tactical knowledge of divide and rule the others to be fully integrated in an incremental manner.

The decades old repository of immensely rich practical experiences has been frequently and systematically tinkered to suit and pursue the agenda of that arrogantly proud self-imagination far and beyond with the active facilitation of its significantly un-moving mover by arousing the wild fantasies of enormously diverse contestation of the targeted significantly different other.

This is the ironical tragedy, the collateral damage suffered manifesting in the form of fractured polity and frequent violent implosion and explosion of which Manipur, in particular, with its own heavy and 'self-defeating' historical baggage has its large share.


* Keithellakpam Johnson wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at j(doT)keithel(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on September 23, 2015.


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