Nepal and Bali have the same sort of caste system as Indian Hindus, though Bali does not have untouchables and Nepal has greater ethnic diversity than most Indian States. Neither were ruled by the Brits. Furthermore, evidence from DNA studies suggests that endogamous jatis have existed in the sub-continent for at least 2000 years. Yet Dirks argues in 'Castes of Mind'
that caste (again, as we know it today) is a modern phenomenon,
this simply isn't true. Caste as Indians know it today- and it is at the time of marriage that it impinges on the consciousness of even the most 'progressive' families- is very ancient and has to do with gotras and pravaras and population movements and sectarian splits which happened many centuries ago. Rahul Gandhi himself has come out of the closet as a Dattatreya gotra Saivite Brahmin. Since his mother's, grandmother's, and sister's, marriages were conducted according to Vedic rites and since he is accepted as a Brahmin by a Sankaracharya and other Hindu pontiffs, it appears that if the husband is non-Hindu and the marriage is Vedic, then progeny take the caste and gotra of the mother or grandmother's paternal ancestors.
This is very very ancient stuff! There is literally nothing modern about it. True, at one time in South India there was some talk of a Quinsap (Queen's Sappers) endogamous military caste. But it has disappeared. We used to joke about 'ICS gotra' marriages- i.e. between people from different parts of India who had an ICS officer in their pedigree- but that too has faded out.
It is quite true that particular jatis, if not too numerous, tend to merge with larger endogamous communities. But this is what the economics of 'separating equilibria' able to solve 'the stable marriage problem' dictates.
Dirks wasted his time in the archives. Social formations are the solution to coordination or discoordination games. The thing is economic. It isn't some shit invented by some savant or civil servant a century or two ago. Foucault had shit for brains. Get over it.
that it is, specifically, the product of an historical encounter between India and Western colonial rule.
But that encounter was wholly economic! The fact is caste wasn't that different in French or Portuguese enclaves or the Princely states. Plenty of Indian Rajputs married Nepalese Rajputs while a South Indian Maratha Princess was eagerly espoused by a Maratha Prince in Gujarat though, sadly, she insisted on bringing Bharatnatyam dancers with her.
By this I do not mean to imply that it was simply invented by the too clever British, now credited with so many imperial patents that what began as colonial critique has turned into another form of imperial adulation. But I am suggesting that it was under the British that “caste” became a single term capable of expressing, organizing, and above all “systematizing” India’s diverse forms of social identity, community, and organization.
The Brits took over the word from the Portuguese and Spanish where it referred to degree of miscegenation though, in Mexico, some indigenous peoples- like the Basques back in Spain- had inherent 'hidalgo' status. There were some Hindu texts which equated current 'Varnas' with some notional miscegenation which occurred when the world was young.
However, in the South, the 'left hand/ right hand' distinction was more salient under the French than the Brits. Apparently the thing- which dates from the Chola period- still has some political importance in parts of Karnataka though it has faded away elsewhere.
This was achieved through an identifiable (if contested) ideological canon as the result of a concrete encounter with colonial modernity during two hundred years of British domination.
Bullshit! There was no fucking 'colonial modernity' to concretely encounter. There was dysentery and malaria and cholera and typhoid. But, there was also money to be made and school fees to be paid and the prospect to retiring to a nice bungalow back in Blighty before your fucking liver exploded.
In short, colonialism made caste what it is today.
Fuck off! England administered and defended India for a fee. It didn't try to turn India into England- because the place was too fucking hot for British folk and, anyway, expats feel their own country is changing too rapidly. The last thing they want is for the malady of modernity to spread to where they earn their bread.
It produced the conditions that made possible the opening lines of this book, by making caste the central symbol of Indian society.
Those opening words were those of Edmund Burke who had been paid to try to fuck up a great man- Warren Hastings.
In that Country the laws of religion, the laws of the land, and the laws of honour, are all united and consolidated in one, and bind a man eternally to the rules of what is called his caste.This had been true of Ireland- or at least that romantic conception of Ireland from which the 'wild geese' had fled.
It wasn't true of India. An English Jesuit could become an honorary Brahmin and reside in the agraharam. Dr. John Marr, a wonderful Tamil scholar at SOAS, was gifted a piece of land so as to be able to exercise a Brhaminical franchise in an ancient South Indian polity.
India hadn't had the type of Wars of Religion, or- indeed- caste (e.g. that of the Gaelicized Normans 'outside the pale') than England and Europe had had.
When thinking of India it is hard not to think of caste.
But when thinking about Pakistan, it is hard not to think of creed, which trumps caste. But Cash is King over all.
In comparative sociology
which is shit
and in common parlance alike,
'Slum dog' might be a term in common parlance. Caste isn't. India is unusual in that affirmative action quotas, on the basis of caste, is an important determinant of electoral outcomes. But this purely an internal matter
caste has become a central symbol for India,
nope. That's the Taj Mahal and maybe a Bollywood dance sequence.
indexing it as fundamentally different from other places
yet Indian States are like their contiguous or nearly contiguous foreign neighbors.
as well as expressing its essence.
An essence is something true in all possible worlds. But any part of India which becomes Muslim majority isn't going to keep that essence. This does not mean that caste (or biradari) disappears. It just has much lower political salience.
On the other hand, it is true that J.N Mandal and the Namasudras threw in their lot with the Muslim League. But they soon had to to flee across the border.
A long history of writing—from the grand treatise of the Abbé Dubois to the general anthropology of Louis Dumont;
nobody reads that shite except academics. But everybody knows that academics in this field are utterly, totally, shit
from the piles of statistical and descriptive volumes of British colonial censuses starting in 1872 to the eye-catching headlines of the New York Times—has identified caste as the basic form of Indian society.
This is stupid shit. British colonial documents reveal that being shit was the basic form of society. That is why the Brits ruled it. Caste could be a reason why India was shit militarily, economically etc. but there was a better explanation for its being shit- viz. darkies be dumb-dumbs. Then Japan got rid of caste, burned down a lot of Buddhist monasteries, started killing cows and eating beef, and rose and rose. India, however, chose to go down a Gandhian, and then a Gandhian-Socialist path, and thus became unable to feed or defend itself. That's when American academics like Dirks first began studying the country. But their research, like that of their Indian colleagues, was utterly useless. The social structure of a country does not matter. What matters is its Trade policy. If it is export oriented, fine. If it isn't, the place turns to shit.
Caste has been seen as omnipresent in Indian history and as one of the major reasons why India has no history, or at least no sense of history.
It has both which is why caste does not matter. On the other hand, Indians do think historians have shit for brains. But this is true of every country.
Caste defines the core of Indian tradition, and it is seen today as the major threat to Indian modernity.
No. Scrapping stupid, paternalistic laws and getting rid of subsidies is seen as key to Indian modernity. In practice, all that matter is getting rural girls into giant factory dormitories and thus achieving demographic transition.
If we are to understand India properly, and by implication if we are to understand India’s other core symbol—Hinduism—we must understand caste, whether we admire or revile it.
Caste may have had something to do with a sort trade unionism of specific occupational groups, or else a mechanism to overcome information asymmetry, as in Akerlof's theory, but it persists only as a solution to the stable marriage problem and a coordination device for a deeply parochial type of politics which, however, is compatible with any type of economic regime or the election of any type of political party- right wing, left wing, Dynastic or Populist.
Dirks & Co didn't come up with any theory of caste. Instead, they became an echo chamber for useless academics who pretended to be associated with Dalit activism. But they weren't really. Ambedkar was a 'Law & Econ' maven. He was a Dewey type pragmatist. He would have laughed himself silly at Subalternists teaching in Minnesota or Minihaha who babble brokenly about Deleuze while, back home, Malikarjun Kharge is kicking ass and taking names.
To be fair, Dirks isn't into Continental shite. But he makes absurd claims- e.g. that Risley's ethnographic survey mattered. It didn't. The fact is, Karl Pearson was genuinely smart- Einstein got a lot out of his book- and Eugenics was cool back then and so there was a bit of pressure from the nobs back in Blighty for people like Risley and Thurston to get to ride their hobby horse a little. The extra spending on the Census to include ethnographic information wouldn't break the bank and the data might have some scientific value. In any case, it kept morale up for Civil Servants doing boring shite in the boondocks to feel they were part of something cutting edge which smart folk back home might appreciate.
Sadly, ethnography and anthropology etc. were utterly useless. Colonies have to make money- or at least not too much of a loss- but what ultimately matters is stuff to do with Naval supremacy and the balance of power on the Continent and trying to prevent women getting the vote coz bitches be kray kray.
Back in the Fifties and Sixties, American Social Scientists of a straight arrow type would get a bit of money to research developing countries coz like maybe there would be a peasant uprising or some other such crazy shit. But, by the Seventies, it was clear that crazy shit didn't matter. The price of petrol did. But, recycling petro-dollars was actually a cool way of getting out from under the Teamsters or crazy ladies back home. Suddenly, going to Collidge wasn't about getting a white color job funded, one way or another, by a Corporatist State. It was about becoming a billionaire and doing a lot of blow or just doing a lot of blow or not doing a lot of blow and going through the motions.
In his conclusion, Dirks quotes Foucault-
History is the work expended on material documentation (books, texts, accounts, registers, acts, buildings, institutions, laws, techniques, objects, customs, etc.) that exists, in every time and place, in every society.... [I]n our time, history is that which transforms documents into monuments . . . in our time history aspires to the condition of archaeology, to the intrinsic description of the monument.
Foucault was wrong. History isn't about shite in the archives coz we know that shite is stupid bureaucratic shite. Archaeology can be cool coz of Indiana Jones but Archives are oubliettes for industrious losers whom we are all secretly laughing at.
History is about Structural Causal Models and how they match to data sets. Also, history books or videos can be sexy or, at the least, not boring and pompous or pseudo-intellectual.
WHEREAS the nineteenth century was the great century of imperial power,
No. It was the great century of industrial progress. The Sixteenth Century was peak 'gunpowder' Imperialism. In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century, Global Naval power had salience. But the Nineteenth Century was about the development of technology and the emergence of an increasingly self-conscious industrial proletariat. Dirks is as stupid as shit. He doesn't get that the American Civil War was the template for the Great War and all that flowed from it- including decolonization and market based globalization.
the most astonishing accomplishment of the twentieth century has been the struggle to consign colonial rule to the past tense.
In England, the Irish problem had created a brief flicker of interest in 'Imperialism' but Milner, Cromer, Curzon all fucking failed. Haldane and the Fabian 'Co-efficients' achieved nothing. HG Wells frankly confessed that there was no plan for the Raj or other Colonies. There couldn't be a plan because the game was increasingly not worth the candle. The earlier notion that Colonies need to become self-garrisoning and self-administering was revived but, by 1918, everyone recognized that 'Dominion Status' would be increasingly a partnership of equals. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that, at home, the workers- worse yet, women,- would be the masters.
Colonies were boring and not particularly profitable. Still, so long as the Senior Service held sway over Ocean waves, and the City could stay on the gold standard, Pax Britannica was a comfort blanket under which you could bury your head.
Although that struggle has been successful, it has not only been drenched in violence
Fuck off! More British people were killed on one day on the Western Front than in the entire 'anti-colonial' struggle. Indeed, only the Boer War had a significant body count for the Brits.
but it has also led to the general recognition that the effects of imperialism have by no means disappeared with the demise of formal colonial regimes of rule.
This is stupid shit. Stuff which works doesn't disappear till it is replaced by stuff which works differently.
Colonialism lives on in the massive disparities of wealth and control over capital between north and south,
Fuck off! South Korea didn't colonize anybody and is doing pretty well at least compared to Portugal which had a fucking huge Empire when I was a kid. The US didn't have an Empire. It concentrated on killing indigenous people and bringing in well built African slaves.
What leads to massive disparities of wealth (which is what 'control over capital' means) is some peeps doing smart stuff while other peeps are doing stupid shit. That's why a guy who dropped History at the age of 16 does better in life than a guy who is still studying that shite at the age of 26.
in the contradictory institutional legacies that inhabit political, juridical, educational, and economic systems,
what is this shit about 'contradictory legacies' inhabiting stuff? Dirks knows very well that his Campus is built on an ancient Indian burial-ground. No doubt, the legacy of Merlin as passed on to Mad King George, protected it for a couple of centuries, but ever since the bicentennial, poltergeists have been on the prowl. One such has possessed Trump's comb-over.
and in the differential manifestations of cultural entitlement and social capacity that characterize a world of ethnic dispute and national dislocation.
But that 'differential manifestation' dates back to the Neanderthals making rude noises about Denisovans.
Even as the colonial past was written into every aspect of the early consolidation of Western metropolitan economic and political domination,
of America, not India.
it continues to be written into the new world order—
Dirks was writing this shite in 2001. The world has greatly changed since then.
in subnational ethnic violence, in national debates over immigration and identity, in the postimperial positioning of the United States after the end of the cold war, in postnational developments around liberalization, globalization, and the late twentieth-century triumph of capitalism, and in worries that the specter of future cataclysm resides not in communism but in other civilizations.
We now see that the real danger had to do with Economics. China was rising up. Will its Eurasian 'World Island' power-block over take the American led block? The answer depends on whether the West follows the path of Vivek Ramaswamy not the 'woke' shite of Dirks.
Colonialism may be dead, yet it is everywhere to be seen.
Only in the sense that the Dinosaurs are dead, yet are everywhere to be seen coz dinosaur ghosts are totes a real thing.
Colonialism was fundamental to the origins of capitalism in England and the West,
No. Capitalism was fundamental to the creation of enterprises like the East India Company. England did need a Navy to protect itself which also meant going in for the Assiento and grabbing what colonies it could so as to pay for for that Navy. But Belgium quickly followed in England's footsteps in terms of industrial capitalism without getting colonies.
the rise of European and North American political domination,
North America started off as a bunch of colonies but they became independent to grow more rapidly. Colonialism ceased to be a great source of wealth by the end of the Eighteenth century. Technology based industrialization was what mattered- indeed, that is still the case. If the West doubles down on woke shite and DEI and Grievance Studies, then China wins.
the acceptance of an anthropological vision that conferred cultural explanations on the colonized world,
that was stupid shit which didn't last long. Bigotry doesn't matter. Money does.
and the emergence of basic assumptions of historical thought that were enshrined by Hegel and expounded by Macaulay, Mill, Seeley, and many others.
All of whom were shit. They did what they were paid to do because money matters. But they weren't paid a shit ton of money coz what they were doing wasn't important.
In this book I have sought to demonstrate these larger propositions in the light of specific examples in the history of caste in India.
Either caste, like gender, doesn't have a history or else this is the history of the history of caste or the history of the history of the history of caste- which is exponentially more inconsequential.
I have also attempted to show in detail how colonialism was served by, even as it produced the conditions of possibility for, forms of knowledge that, in the wake of Said’s extraordinary challenge, can be characterized under the single term of “Orientalism.”
Said taught Literature before, like other Palestinian Christians, helping to fuck up his own people by supporting shitty, murderous, corrupt leaders. Still, there was real money for a type of Grievance Studies which could plausibly be attributed to Oil Sheikhs who had more money than God.
The sub-continent, sadly, is as poor as shit. But it does have politicians who can get very rich while erecting statues to themselves all over the place by not studying grievances but promising reparations. That be where the money's at. Dirks, poor fellow, couldn't get to any such place.
But I have sought to go much further than Said (whose project was admittedly limited to texts of Orientalism and their relations to sites of colonial power in the West), even as I have taken seriously his claim that the Orient was produced as the “Orient” by the historical power of Orientalism, defined both as specific bodies of scholarship and as colonial knowledge writ large.
This is not scholarship. Bigotry seldom is. Consider the following where Dirks waxes lyrical over self-publicist Kanchah Ilaiah who is five years younger than his caste-fellow Siddaramaiah, now in his second term as CM of Karnataka. Their parallel careers illustrate the futility of doing a PhD in nonsense rather than getting stuck in as a lawyer representing the agriculturists of your district even if this initially gets you labeled as 'right wing' and you are forced to stand as an independent. Still Ilaiah looked as though he might become important when Mayawati (who is four years younger than Kanchah) was spoken of as a potential PM. But Ambedkarite ideology is a recipe for political failure and intellectual nullity. All you end up doing is propagandizing for Brahmins as a bunch of guys with super-powers. Kharge and Siddaramiah now have power in Karnataka but only as votaries of janeodhari Rahul.
KANCHA ILAIAH begins his remarkable book entitled Why I am Not a Hindu by saying, “I was not born a Hindu for the simple reason that my parents did not know that they were Hindus.”
So what? They knew they were Kuruba and that they weren't Christian or Muslim. That's what made them Hindu. Furthermore, there were places where Kurubas were classed as a 'Scheduled Tribe' and hence gained superior affirmative action. But, the community was important enough to get Backward status in different States.
He goes on to make clear that this was not because his parents belonged to some other religious identity but rather because his “illiterate parents, who lived in a remote South Indian village, did not know that they belonged to any religion at all.”
This is nonsense. Their community had its own priests and rituals just like my own community.
Members of the Kuruma caste, breeders of sheep, his parents brought him up in a world in which Hinduism was clearly the province of the upper castes—Brahmins, Baniyas, Ksatriyas.
Like Education, having lots of Money or being Chief Minister. But that's changed because it was worthwhile to change.
“We knew nothing of Brahma, Vishnu or Eswara until we entered school. When we first heard about these figures they were as strange to us as Allah or Jehova or Jesus were.”
I don't suppose I had heard anything of Allah before I started school in Baghdad. But I understood that different languages have different words for the same thing.
According to Kancha Ilaiah, the cultural life of Hindus, determined in large part by protocols of hierarchy, ritual, and purity, steeped in beliefs that were seen as inaccessible and foreign, was not something he shared.
But the guy seems to be sharing well enough in the English language. He has a PhD. Plenty of protocols of hierarchy were involved in getting that shitty credential. The plain fact is, the guy isn't a Hindu because it pays him not to be. No doubt, he'd be very happy not to be Indian, not to be Male, or not to be Human, if that would get him the attention he craves.
Only in recent years, under the sway of a Hindu fundamentalist movement that has sought to recruit Dalits and other low-caste groups to a generic confessional idea of Hinduism, has he experienced any intimations of a possible connection.
This suggests that Hindu fundamentalism is ecumenical and egalitarian. Otherwise it would want to bar the entry of people with more moderate beliefs or a lower or different degree of orthopraxy.
The fact is high-caste groups- e.g. Lingayats- would love to get 'minority' status by getting the Law to see them as non-Hindu.
And yet, as a political activist and theorist,
The guy is speaking not truthfully but polemically and strategically.
skeptical of a movement that seeks to build new conditions for the hegemony of an uppercaste Hindu chauvinism,
High-caste Hindus who convert get a better deal than low-castes. Indeed, they get a better deal even if they don't convert. Sad.
he has written a book to reject the right of Hindus, and Hinduism, to claim him.
The problem is that he isn't Dalit. Thus the Ambedkarites don't want him while politicians of his own caste are interested in 'AHINDA'- i.e. consolidation of the 'Backward' vote. Currently, in Karnataka, Kharge, a Dalit, and Siddaramiah, a Kuruba, together with DKS, a Vokkaliga- appear have marginalized the Lingayats, while Rahul- the ultra-Brahmin- gets all the credit. But is this story really about caste? Surely, it was corruption and incompetence which brought down Bommai while what gave Congress the edge over JD(S) was its more expansive promise of cash and other benefits for women. Gender, it seems, trumps Caste, provided there is money on the table. On the other hand, Religion does matter. The woman who championed the wearing of hijab inside girl's College classrooms saw off rivals by a comfortable margin.
I have focused on caste to establish the salience of the imperial archive
It has none. It was the electoral process which determined which jatis (endogamous groups) voted together. The answer varied from District to District and State to State. There had to be a 'discovery process'. Archives were useless. The thing was impredicatively strategic. In other words, 'common knowledge' about caste is that it can be gamed only if isn't real or real only if is being gamed.
and the extraordinary impact of colonial rule,
it had none on caste or, indeed, almost anything else save economically. But then Colonialism in India was a purely commercial enterprise.
to the point that both the sources for the understanding of tradition and the terms of reference for tradition are implicated in colonial history.
No. But colonial history was merely a type of economic history. These cretins don't understand Econ which is ergodic. Hysteresis only arises at the level of Expectations. But expectations are highly plastic. Indeed, they are anything goes.
But if tradition itself has been in some fundamental sense produced through the history of the colonial modern,
This is foolish. the people who know 'the history of the colonial modern' haven't produced shit. Tradition isn't produced. It is modified and reproduced though, no doubt, a particular institution can create, by fiat, its own tradition. Graham Greene gave the example of Stowe- a new Public School which chose certain traditions of its own similar to those of ancient Public Schools like Eton. But that has nothing to do with history. It has to do with Tardean mimetics on the one hand and a changed conception of what was natural or could appear organic.
it is this same history that so problematizes both tradition and modernity in the context of postcolonial India.
But that same history is shit because it provides a living only for shitheads. The Subalternists were part of a propaganda drive against the BJP and the RSS. They failed utterly.
Caste can only be embraced ambivalently;
Either marriages are arranged on the basis of Caste or the thing fades out of all
although it is impossible to treat caste as the object of nostalgia, it can hardly be the marker of a satisfactory present.
It made a very satisfactory present to Mayawati- who now has statues of herself all over the place. Caste continues to exist because it makes some people rich.
Inasmuch as caste is a sign of the past, it is also a vehicle for the construction of a different future.
But only inasmuch as the present is the vehicle for the past turning into the future. If it is different from the present, I suppose it is a different future.
I suppose what Dirks means is 'by struggling against Caste, we can achieve true Socialism such that all Senior Citizens can access Universal Therapeutic Sodomy while changing gender every other week. Biden, this means you!'
The history of the production of colonial difference
which is what Dirks is doing in America. He is entrenching Caste there. How very helpful of him! It's not as though 'Boston Brahmin' doesn't signify a member of the East Coast Elite or that 'pariah' doesn't mean...well, pariah.
does not license all expressions of nativist fundamentalism, even when it helps to explain their rise.
Cool! Dirks is saying that the DMK's anti-Brahminism (based on the notion that Brahmins are immigrants) must be rejected.
Similarly, the writing of the history of nationalist mobilization and resistance in colonial conditions need not celebrate the promotion of an increasingly Hindu nationalist ideology that excludes women, Muslims, and lower-caste “others” from the inner circle of the national “we.”
But Pakistan is cool, right? So is the US killing 1.3 million Muslims in a war of revenge. That's jus' the price of doin biznesss.
Finally, a critical history of the colonial role in the production of caste
is fucked in the head. The Brits eradicated any potential Spanish or Portuguese type 'los castas' in directly ruled States. The Eurasian never ranked above the 'pure blood' native.
does not justify the use of this critique to argue against caste just at the point when it becomes the vehicle for the mobilization of an oppositional politics.
But that mobilization only leads to guys like Kharge gaining half a billion dollars in assets by serving a Brahmin dynasty.
These are only some of the reasons that the writing of colonial history in a postcolonial time is so fraught.
Yup, writing this shite was 'fraught'. Fuck the 'Hurt Locker'. Defusing I.E.Ds in Fallujah was a walk in the park.
Writing has never been a neutral activity,
nor, in this case, one which engages a lot of neurons.
but the brief critique above, and the critical sensibility that has animated this book,
licking the arse of senile pseudo-Leftists who had parlayed PhDs in shit into Green Cards and tenure in shitty University Departments in the Amrika
should show at least some of the specific histories that have inflected the conditions for the writing of colonial history today.
There is no inflexion in this arse licking of India's senile Left.
In the last fifty years we have learned anew how much it matters from where we write, to whom we write, and more generally how writing is positioned: geopolitically, sociohistorically, institutionally.
What we have learned over the last fifty years is that the Left's long march through the Institutions ended in Vivek Ramaswamy leveraging anti-wokeness into a bid for the Presidency. Better than a half Tambram as Veep is a full blooded Palghat Iyer as POTUS.
The crisis of writing
this is lysis- degradation- not crisis
has been ushered in by many forces, among them decolonization,
which happened before this dude was born.
a rising chorus of new nations,
which quietened down half a century ago.
the reemergence of new kinds of colonial relationships in the unequal distribution of global wealth
Fuck off! Pretending the South Koreans or Singaporeans are colonizing us is just stoooooopid. Colonies make a loss. That's why nobody wants them.
and operations of global capital,
as opposed to global stupidity
and the dispersal through phases of migration and relocation of once colonized peoples.
Like the Americans. But England was once a Roman colony.
Postcolonial critiques have been necessary,
coz whining about Whitey is totes necessary, so Collidges have a place to dump credentialized nitwits who have no choice but to teach paranoid garbage to losers.
if contentious, features of all the new landscapes we inhabit or survey. Postcoloniality in this sense is neither some new, faddish, trend nor an abandonment of the real, whether postulated in positivist or materialist language.
It is the telling of stupid lies- like the sentence above.
And although postcoloniality is related to current developments in identity politics, multiculturalism, ethnonationalism, and even postmodernism, it is both far more and far less than these terms imply.
Coz shit is far more and less than food for thought- unless you are a coprophage.
I have suggested here that postcoloniality might be used to signify those places and histories,
topoi of paranoid stupidity or gesture political futility
rather than either specific identities or theories, that resist the universalization of position and perspective, even as they underscore the power of the forces of universalization.
Money and military power matter universally. Paranoid ranting doesn't at all.
Postcoloniality might then remind us of the fact that history, culture, and modernity have always been corrupt, invariably predicated on violence and domination,
also people who promise not to fart in your face seldom keep their word
the terms of conquest for colonization itself. Postcoloniality both embodies the promise of the West—
World Wars? Iron Curtains? Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
a promise that flows from the enlightenment and the birth of nations
Nations were born long ago.
—and reminds us that the promise is always flawed, the present always an impossible time and place in which to live.
Being Dirks is hard work. We get it.
Postcolonial history is the epic story of seduction and betrayal, destined to repeat itself again and again, even as it seeks to put the colonial past behind, for all time.
No. It is the epic story of diarrhea.
But it also teaches us that there is no going back, to a time when tradition, or identity, or civilization might be recuperated whole.
There is no going back to a teaching job if you didn't just shit your pants- causing the kids to laugh at you- but also shoved your hands down the back of your trousers and then pulled out something you called 'chocolate cake' and ate with pleasure. This is because it wasn't chocolate cake at all. It was shit.
To think otherwise would be to open history to other forms of seduction and betrayal.
We get it. Dirks was seduced by someone who told him to eat his own shit. Then that seducer betrayed every sign of laughing her fucking head off. To think otherwise would open Dirks sphincter to yet more intrusively senile coprolite aggression.
On the other hand, Dirks was 13 when his Professor father relocated the family to Madras- in the year of my birth. Congress could have stayed in power if Sastri hadn't mishandled the question of Hindi. However, thought the DMK was anti-Brahmin, power soon passed into the hands of a woman from the Brahmin caste. Currently, Stalin- the CM- seems to have no problem calling Rahul 'Sir' and supporting that Brahmin's hereditary claim to the post of Prime Minister. Caste, it seems, is merely one of many coordinating mechanisms. It can only be understood in those terms. Dirks has written grandiloquent nonsense.
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