Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: February 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Post Colonial Literature ~ a misnomer


Us Versus Them

Blog, vipin behari goyal, arundhati roy, amitav ghosh


Whosoever  is responsible for coining this misnomer term has fulfilled his own objective of dividing culture of many nations into  Colonial and Post Colonial eras, in terms of a historical event that would ever remind the oppressed of their humiliating past. For political and economic purposes it could have been tolerable, but for art and literature it is sheer absurd. The word was easily picked up by West who have unlimited craving for establishing their superiority over the rest of the world.

No such distinction has been made for Second World War. It was a major event that divided history in two parts. So far as literature is concerned, it was termed  "Postmodern Literature" that was based on narrative techniques and style. And not on any historical or political event.

The cover page of Edward Said's book 'Orientalism' shows naked butt of a teenage boy who is a snake charmer. It is funny that how the westerners are so overwhelmed by snake charmers of India. Due to humid subtropical climate of India and dense forest snakes were part of the vast biodiversity of India. Being an environmentalist since ancient time Indians did not kill snakes, rather they worshipped them. It was found that snakes dance to the tune of special musical instrument called Been and can be captured easily once they are hypnotized by snake charmers. So whenever snakes encroached in human territories of urban area, they were caught and deported back to their natural habitat. So what's the big deal about it?

Black Skin White Mask (1952) written by Franz Fanon is a good attempt to understand the black people specially who move upward in the white dominated society and start wearing a white mask even when they go to sleep. One day they forget their original face and become a distorted version of Homo Sapiens. Any  person would behave strangely when subjected to all together different culture, and when whole race undergoes certain similar experiences it may lead to form a Collective Unconsciousness. The psychoanalysis can only play a small important role in determining and understanding the behavioral pattern of such race.

Bharati Mukherjee,   RK Narayan, Mahashweta Devi, Anita Desai, Arundhati Roy and Jhumpa Lahiri are some of the Indian writers who are labeled as post colonial writers.

Some defects in the dogma of Post Colonial Literature are mentioned here.

1. Loss of Identity : One of the popular belief is that 'native' suffered from loss of identity once they were decolonized. The literature created in languages other than English is not dominated by this subject. Very few writers wrote in English but either they did not live in colony or did not have firsthand experience of  colonial and postcolonial life.

2. Cultural Erosion: We can also call it cultural enrichment. This has happened in East as well as West. The history of English literature in Britain  from Anglo-Latin to late modernism and twenty first century literature shows their enrichment.

3. Value-Shift: Shifting of values is a constant phenomenon in any society. There could be difference of opinion on the issue whether values went up or down during certain time period. If we go by thumb rule that change is always good, the shift in values was imminent weather it was colony or not. The same shift happened in many other countries who were not colony at that time.

4. Us Versus Them: It is alleged that colonizer countries discarded everything that pertained to the culture of Colony and imposed their superiority. It is also said that despite the fact that many decolonized  countries continued to be dominated by their colonizers politically, economically and culturally. It needs to be analyzed with open mind and paradigm shift. The superpowers of the world have always dominated rest of the world. Out of 192 counties of the World how many countries have economic, political and cultural sovereignty. Since World is Conical there is always tug of war between Us and Them.

5. Inferiority Complex: Eurocentric Universalism takes for granted the superiority   of West and inferiority of East. This argument is also not tenable. Many Europeans like Max Muller, Schopenhauer, Sir John Woodruffs were highly impressed by Easter Culture. Many are still of the view that India would be World Guru in 21 Century and would lead the World from "Darkness to the Light". 

There is need to change the nomenclature. The Indian English Literature is good for Indian writing in English. It has acquired a "Selfhood" by moving towards self assertion and self definition in is journey of two hundred years. It is tolerable to identify Literature by region but it is absolutely wrong to use a derogatory term like Post-Colonial Literature. The Stranger King needs a paradigm shift to come out of obsession to control culture of countries through economic measures.




© Vipin Behari Goyal


Other Related Post

Roots of Racism

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why Amartya Sen wants to quit Nalanda University

To Be or Not To Be



Any academicians when he Heads the institution, whether educational or not, undergoes an intellectual dilemma to prove his excellence in converting a vision into reality. His mind is conditioned to focus on micro issues and not on solving the riddles created by  nexus between bureaucrats and politicians.

If that person is an academician by chance or by manipulation he would find ways to circumvent and fulfill personal ambitions while pampering inflated egos of powerful touts.

But a true academician would truly feel relieved when the top brass who neither have any understanding or practical experience to run an institution of Higher Education of international stature would spend hours, days, weeks and months to take a decision on the issue on which some of the best brains of the world have opinioned anonymously.
This is not unfortunate, we had been doing it for last 68 years  shamelessly, and being head of a whole redundant fleet of the executives we are able to send a message to this rotten white elephant to go as slow as possible. The unfortunate part is making a mess of the whole situation and not allowing any honorable retreat.

This reflects on the value system of the whole society. The selfish motives, the vested political interest and a false pride dominate the voice of conscience. The fiscal aspect overshadows ultimate aim of the welfare of mankind. The Bureaucrats are baffled by a handsome package of salary offered to higher dignities to run the university  in the best possible manner and want to avenge by letting them down at every possible opportunity.

The scholars are more sentimental than anybody else. They know their genius is an Act of God. So, they want to serve their country. They sacrifice best offers, best working conditions, unlimited financial grant at their disposal which would only need a two line certificate from them that the grant has been used for public purposes. They opt for assignment to serve their motherland, despite the warnings of the peers and  well-wishers. While silently and meticulously they fulfills their long cherished dreams, they also await the day when their well earned reputation will be jeopardized by some shallow accusations or  constraints would be created to hinder their work and tarnish image.

The non intellectuals have this inborn jealousy with intellectuals and they manipulate to win the race to prove their superiority. (Detailed theory in Tall Man Small Shadow) . Intellectuals have no grudge, they happily retreat, since they need not to prove themselves before petty people.

In Disgrace J.M. Coetzee says “He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home with him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing.”

The only thing that matters is what is the cost you are ready to pay for those lessons. Best lessons don't come cheap.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching funded study of race relations provided funds to to Gunnar Myrdal  a Swedish Nobel Laureate in Economics  for conducting his monumental work An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. His work was quoted in many Judgments by Judiciary of United States of America.

 When the option is to quit or to Act, to Act is definitely the right way.


© Vipin Behari Goyal

Author of  World is Conical

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Old Order Changeth Yielding Place to New

                                                   Socialism in Capitalism





“The old order changeth yielding place to new

And God fulfills himself in many ways

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world

Alfred Tennyson

Joseph Schumpeter in his book 'Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy' (1942) blame Capitalism for incessant revival of economic structure where Old one is replaced by New one incessantly. Some economist finds  his theory of 'Creative Destruction' as a major breakthrough that solves many riddles of the economic trends of the World.

The article published in Washington Post republished in The Hindu (17 Feb 2015) has raised an issue if all destruction is creative or only certain destructions are creative and the rest are just destructive.

There cannot be two opinions that New obliterates Old, either for good or for bad. We can rely on the poetics whenever an ethical question is raised. The intuitive dictum of a poet goes beyond the realm of super specialists viz. Scientist and Economist who are too focused and thus overlook what is obvious. Albert Tennyson says that place is yielded by old for new, thus new is invited and welcomed by old to replace it, so that it may now rest in peace.

The God who is nature or some cosmic power is combination of Light, Energy and Action, which destroys everything that gets redundant and replaces it by New that would sustain to the incessant growth and expansion of universe eventuating Evolution. The Evolution is not restricted to Biological Evolution but is evident in every walk of life, be it Economic, Social or Political.

The example quoted about internet related disruption is rudimentary since it is surprising that why the whole world which is so tiny in comparison to our Galaxy is still not connected by single Wi-Fi system which should be randomly and freely available to all the citizens of Planet Earth. Not only one, but there should be many such systems working simultaneously to avoid any disruption.

The labour productivity should decline with the advancement of technologies. The Drone has just come, and it has already started playing wonders. In recent future it is going to revolutionize whole transport and delivery system. This can be seen as a healthy trend in Economics and the surplus labour can be trained to perform other more productive activities.

Defence consumes a major chunk of World Wealth. Scientist work hard to find precise and effective methods to destroy human civilization. In the process of experiments and trials they have have already started killing Biosphere on Earth. How this destruction is going to enhance creation is yet to be determined.

The catastrophe of the doomsday would prove the prediction of Albert Einstein correct

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~Albert Einstein

© Vipin Behari Goyal

Excerpts from his unpublished book  'World is Conical'

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Things Fall Apart

       The Falcon cannot hear the Falconer


Friedman, US, Israel, India

W. B. Yeats says
  “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
   Are full of passionate intensity.”

This is very evident from the latest post by Thomas L. Friedman in New York Times.

He found the statement of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on why the U.S. should get tougher on Iran is churlish, reckless and, for the of Israeli-American relationship, quite dangerous.

Now it is a secondary question if the statement is churlish or the reaction of Friedman is churlish, or it would jeopardize the relationship or strengthen them if ever Israel achieve the sovereignty and statehood that does not depend on any external source and US elects Republican as President.

Some giants are like leeches, they suck petrol, which is tastier than blood, and those leeches have a spokesperson to glamorize their act of lechery by throwing the ashes into eye of others. To every person at the zenith the world appears to be flat while The World is Conical

To say that many University Boards are under pressure to divest from companies doing business with Israel puts a big question mark on the issues of morality and Ethical values of a country which is supposed to be World Super Power today.

When a common American is perplexed to choose a lesser evil (of all-political systems), it is churlish to have a biased opinion about the statement of a Premier of any country vis-a-vis to prospective relationship with the ruling party of that country. The Democrats have consistently failed on the Foreign-Front due to their greed oriented policies.

Mathew Arnold said, “Poetry is the criticism of Life”. When Religion and Philosophy fails, it is the literature that shows the path to the misguided mankind.

Alexander Pope in his poem “Ode to Solitude” says

“Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound
Content to breath his native air,
In his own ground”

Now to appease the Muslim community at large they have come forward as Messiah of Muslim Community by making arbitrary, instigating, irresponsible statements about injustice with them in biggest, secular democratic country of the World.

The Muslim community does not need any lip sympathy of Mr. Obama. They know how the youth of his own creed has fallen  prey to “White-Supremacy”.

William Butler Yeats says

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
  "

(In this analogy, the falcon represents society, and the falconer (who should be commanding the falcon) represents God or some equivalent source of intellectual and moral certainty. The falcon’s gyre is supposed to shrink as it comes nearer to the falconer, but instead the gyre is widening, suggesting that man or society is getting farther and farther from our objective or from God.)

US is full of apprehension and does not want to displease China at any cost, where Henry Kissinger has once sown the seeds of certain symbiotic relationship. On the Dias Dalai Lama was recently saluted in a cursory manner as if he is an ordinary Monk and not an incarnated Buddha.


© Vipin Behari Goyal
Excerpts from his unpublished book "World is Conical"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Women in Combat Role

Why Indian Army is afraid of Women in Combat Role

Army, Defense, Women, feminism


It is a surprise that in a democratic country where Executive should be proactive, pragmatic and reformative has become  obsolete, redundant lethargic and corrupt and they need to be directed by Judiciary in the matters that pertain to common sense. The Delhi High Court in 2010 in a judgement directed that women officers in defence services should be given permanent commission. The Hon’ble Court pronounced that it was not some charity being sought, but enforcement of their constitutional rights.

Air Force and Navy were prudent enough to comply with the orders, but Indian Army appealed in the Supreme Court against the judgement of Delhi High Court. The army has given arguments that the bulk of army’s Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks hail from rural India who are not yet ready to a woman as their leader in combat situations.

It is hard to believe that this argument is given in a country, which is known for women chivalry. Queen of Jhansi Laxmi Bai, Rani Velu Nachiyar, Kitturu Rani Chennamma, Rani Rudrama Devi, Maharani Tara Bai, Chandbibi of Ahmednagar, Rani Abbbakka Devi are some of the women from the recent past of Indian History who gallantly fought wars against British, Portuguese or Mugahals.

The chief of all the armies works under the command of the President of India, who till recently was a woman Mrs. Pratibha Patil. This shows a dichotomy in the philosophy of hierarchy in a system, which we trust to be perfectly operative.

 In M.B.M. Engineering College, Jodhpur girls were not given admission in Mining Branch until last year when a girl appealed to the High Court. Hon'ble High Court rejected all types of funny arguments about the incapability of women and sternly directed the Engineering College to open the branch for willing, meritorious girls.

What is the hostile environment woman may face if given a combat role? They have consistently proved equal or rather better than their male counterparts in all walks of life including Defence Services. It would need a chauvinistic male to deny this fact.

We can do better than that. It is the high time to get rid of prejudices and honourably accept, anything that is just and reasonable.

The Psychosocial analysis of the Women in Combat Role

1. Natural Instinct: It is a natural instinct in all animals to follow women orders. All human beings receive their first commands of life from a woman who is their mother. When they receive a command, a command in a female voice, it is more natural for them to act reflexively. All stimuli received by sense organs are carried to mind which has conditioning. In some services, this conditioning is of prime importance. Once the bonding in stimuli and responses is established it bears many sweet fruits.

2. Better Strategist: The inborn insecurity in women makes them better strategist. They are quick in identifying the weaknesses of enemies and make use of it while forming a strategy for attack. They are also quick to retreat and wait patiently for an opportunity to encounter. Males on the other hand due to their false Ego do not retreat easily and delay in decision causes loss of many lives.

3. Improved E.Q.: Women are quick to adapt themselves in new circumstances. They have stronger Emotional Quotient. This is one of the most essential qualities of the persons in command.

4. Decision Makers: Marketing has become a combat with enhanced commercialization. The Indian Women have proved their excellence as CEO of many multinational companies. They have proved that they are capable of taking correct and timely decision on the important issues.

5. Superior Sixth Sense: This is established fact that women have better sixth sense. Their clairvoyant abilities give a new dimension to the age-old practices in discovering pragmatic ways of accomplishing the mission.

6. Furious in Rage: They are capable of making full use of their will power when enraged. Every woman is said to be Durga or Kali when enraged. This energy is that extra margin that becomes decisive in all combats.

7. An advantage over Pakistan: Presence of Women in Military would definitely make our Army superior to its sworn enemies. Hamza Yusuf, an Islamic scholar, has made several comments about Islam and terrorism. "The Prophet Muhammad said, 'Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people....'.

8. International Scenario: The United Nations recommends the balance of men to women on military vessels should be 70-30. However, the Navy has obeyed the decision of Delhi High Court, but is still far behind in maintaining the ratio. Eighty one per cent women said they wanted to be in combat roles because it was challenging.

9. Multi Tasking: Women are expert, so far as multi tasking is concerned. In War this is one of the most essential qualities. A troop has its own social dynamics and needs to be handled with diligence. The core values and prioritization helps in handling multi tasking aptly.

10. Identifying the Role: Once given the opportunity to prove themselves apparently they would make all the efforts to define and identify their role in the militia. The preconception of society that Military is male institution is giving way and new seeds that have germinated in the crevices of the igneous rocks are ready to flourish and prosper.

Amen.

4 September 2015

Delhi High Court allows permanent commission to women officers of Indian Navy.
Justice Najmi Waziri said "Court would frown upon any endeavour which tries to restrain progress of women".

© Vipin Behari Goyal
 Author, Advocate, Feminist