-santosh kumar

 

Sometimes I like to introspect. Introspection makes you more aware about yourself and allows you to see yourself objectively. I often stay clear of political ideologies. I clearly state this fact to my friends- “I am apolitical”, I don’t follow any particular political ideology as such. And I often try  not to get involved in political debates. I am scared of politics in some sense. Perhaps I have imbibed certain stereotypes, generalizations and a sense of delusion regarding politics at the back of my mind, or perhaps I wish to demarcate “intellectuals” and “politically active” people (though I know no such demarcation exist) and I am happy including myself in the former category and excluding in the latter.

So my introspective trance led me to this realization that my “no politics” stance is in itself an act of politics. I realized that by interacting with all sorts of people with all sorts of ideologies and not playing allegiance to any group, I am, consciously or unconsciously placing myself in a situation where I can take support from all sides, can influence and in a different connotation, manipulate them all. Being diplomatic is also a “politics of representation” where I project myself as an unbiased, neutral, all encompassing figure who is subjective, positive or indifferent to all, depending upon the situation. I am trying to project myself in a particular light (everyone does actually, and we should question whether there is something called a “real personality” and whether our inner personality is really something inert and natural). By committing myself as “apolitical” I may be actually trying to get a license to make a political comment, without people judging my political leanings according to my views (as people often do). I may also be looking for an excuse for not getting involved in an agitation, any protest perhaps because my understanding of the issue is fairly inadequate or perhaps I am confused over which side to take. Perhaps I don’t get involved in a political debate because my ideas are scattered and I fear that the other person will sway me to his or her side through arguments to which I don’t have any counter-argument. Maybe the very idea that I will be overpowered gives me a feeling of intellectual inferiority and that’s why I try to exclude myself from the political gatherings. Maybe my non-alignment to politics is a fulcrum to my fugitive mind. Or maybe my ego acts as a resistance from channelizing my voltage of ideas and judgments to anything political because my ego hates and feels hurt when overpowered or when it lags behind. Another reason could be my laziness to involve in something as active and dynamic as politics. Maybe I am way too lazy to even wish to carry a political idea on my head and express it verbally, symbolically and physically. I am happy being an “armchair intellectual”

 

I keep on explaining to people that I detest politics wherever it is not necessary. “Kitchen politics” is that form of politics that we all outwardly abhor but we only are the most avid practitioners of that “pseudo-skill”. So I use terms like “human nature”, “subjectivity”, “historical consciousness” to assert the view that there can be various ideologies and all correct at the same time, so I find it better to amalgamate different ideologies, different viewpoints rather than juxtaposing them one against the other. I am not unbiased, in fact I carry my own baggage of biases and prejudices, and it’s just that I don’t wish to label myself with something which insufficiently and inadequately defines my thought process. But somehow I realize that in this whole rhetoric of being “apolitical” I am actually offering an alternative, I am using language not just to convey but to influence, I am not doing away with leanings, I am just not allowing my influences to limit me or force me down to a set of beliefs. Thus, my rhetoric of being “apolitical” is in itself a political act. Language can’t be neutral, nor can be human nature. Thus my rhetoric of “apolitical” maybe well an apology for a lack of coherent ideology or a name given to a mishmash of beliefs. So see how conveniently I have used a label (apolitical) to detest labels!!

“Politics is politics

Less politics is more politics

And no politics is the biggest politics

There is simply no escape!!”

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