colonisation

Jaded's picture

Cartologising Contraception Edition Of Cemented Stereotypes

Since the advent of the industrial revolution, there are apparently only the two sects of people in the world, the People With Machines and the People With Farms and Dung if I were to believe Marx for every word he ever wrote — and I don’t — between all the fine print where he justified colonisation as a system that would oppress the MudSquatters to the level that they’d achieve the level of the European proletariat to fully become human and worthy of attaining the shiny badge for unbourgois workers and other places where he seems downright uncritical of imperialism. But it seems that the world does endorse this view, so we have extremely clear dichotomies that pit these two kinds of people against each other to the extent they become different species and even speak different languages. After about 150 years (and more) we still relish these manufactured differences a tad too much; not because Marx still drives us so but because of the underlying ulterior motive we’ve planted in there, facelessly¹.

I remember reading the words, “India is an agrarian economy” from my school years in almost every geography book, at the same time being unable to imagine more than 80% of the population slaving away on the fields, having never seen a field myself, outside of a Bollywood film that is; till I realised most of these fields are located somewhere in Europe as well. As a member of the privileged class who has never had to do any manual, back-breaking physical labour in her life, or ever worry about meals; as a child I’d have a tough time imagining how the villagers must look like, what they must sound like and so on. For quite a while, media representations were my primary and the only source to form deeply tilted view of ‘them’. Typically the bumbling village idiot, speaks in broken English, zie represents Old India or Orthodox norms and then the city would civilise him — raise your hand people of the Olde Interwebes if this sounds ridiculously close to colonisation — or an urbane protagonist would, disseminate proverbial knowledge and wisdom akin to the (ironic) role of the ‘Good Native’. Where the villagers are plot devices to further the UberLiberalHumanist tendencies every urban character inherently is born with; sort of like a DesiDoucheColonial enabler on zie’s own and the villagers welcome this taking over of bodies and idea with vapid simplicity. Some ‘liberal’ films will show the villager as a loyal servant to his ImperiallyKind Babu to the extent that boundaries between Master and Servant are blurred and they hop and skip all over the realities of bonded labour, zamindrai exploitation and systematic bankruptcy in the span of a two-minute dance number. Conversely, ‘edgy’ films made from the villager’s point of view — produced, written and directed in the city, of course —  place the urban antagonist in the coloniser’s shoes, critique the ‘loss of Indian-ness’ and ‘our values’ while lamenting in the previously mentioned European fields where the scenes are shot. Any way this LadyBrain looks at the dichotomy, both groups are determined to lock each other out, only to the satisfaction of the Center that openly rejoices and engages in further wall-building.

Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system