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End of Subjectivity, Post humanism and Islam in the Context of CAB
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Umar Nizar

 

Umar Nizar

Umar Nizar

”It is possible that new rites of purification and cleansing will follow. Even new laws and decrees will be passed. One might be subjected to sweet brutal sermons, immemorial obligations of duty, abhorrent images of profanation. One might even become the target of a convoluted double-game …. a Great Transgression to extract a Martyr from the Act, which absorbs henceforth all transgressions, all profanation, all-metal, all body, all stench, all death – and all life. Such that one is inserted once and for all, into the final equation: Absolute Transgression = Absolute Obedience.”
– Soumyabrata Choudhury, Ritual Transgression, Historical Intervention, Ontological Exit

The last thing that the minorities in India need right now is for a Jason Reja Jorjani figure to arise from the elite, espousing a radical Alt-right position that would be the apple in the eyes of the neo-Nietzcheans. In the context of the emergence of the right-wing in an unprecedented manner in recent times with CAB, the real catastrophe will be for an Otto Weininger like persona to emerge from the Muslim community which is already reeling under accusations of gender bias. This paper looks into how the situation has become ripe for the unfortunate emergence of rightwing figures like Jorjani and Weininger.

In India, the religious communities are mostly differentiated quantitatively in open fora and qualitatively elsewhere. This conflation of quantity with quality leads to detrimental marginalisation of qualities that differentiate, apart from the realm of identity politics. (Harman). If democracy is strictly a number game then the minorities are on the losing side, as Claude Lefort argues. This abjectness of Muslims in the world’s three most populous nations also provides a manifold to look into the status of minorities in democratic as well as authoritarian states. In this three nations-two of them democracies, and the other one a communist people’s republic- the perception exists that minorities are in peril. This quality versus quantity debate plays into the hands of the right-wing fascists.

Along with the rise of nations, the problem of stateless refugees has emerged, who are the real proletariat of our times. But the nation defines itself against the stateless. The nation-state is something to possess, a value to be cherished, to be enjoyed, to be inherited. The misery and the destitution of the refugee population have cast them in the mould of the homo sacer, as proposed by Agamben. Veena Das also has postulated that the refugee can be looked at as a ‘form of life’. This form of life is not an empty, infertile entity, but the throbbing, vital manifestation of human ability, the vitality, entelechy or life force that demands justice.

The bare protoplasmic life has declared itself to be above all. This applies to Syrian and Rohingyan refugees. This is not a secular protoplasm. This is bare life at the level of ‘Jeeva’. This can be called an Islamic form of life in the context of the CAB. This Islamic protoplasm, which has come to displace the Muslim Ummah makes impossible demands of sovereignty. The vitality of the body is the realm of its richness and fertility. John Bellamy Foster also speaks about this. The sovereign states delving deep into their arsenals to retrieve various tools of biometric control of biopower is but a belated response to this. The Aadhar card, the NRC, CAA and various barricading strategies are examples for this.

But this protoplasmic life, not a destitute life, but a fertile and rich one, can be rendered null and void by defining it as cancerous, thus turning it into a parasitical invasion into the body politic. Schemas of ‘advaita’ and oneness lead to such formulations of excessive growth that kills itself. This self-cannibalization is imputed to sovereignty as well as subalternity. The sovereign consumes its children in the form of taxes and the rest. The subaltern is a seemingly endless drain on resources. Subaltern women, especially Muslim women are perceived almost exclusively from the perspective of reproductive heterosexuality. The ‘dropping’ of babies thus becomes a roundabout way to deceive the system and get around elaborately constructed notions of state citizenship and digitally induced biometric belonging. This gives impetus to misogyny, as exemplified by Otto Weiniger and alt-right supremacism as espoused by the likes of the American Jason Reja Jorjani.

Where is the Otto Weininger of Muslims? Muslims and Misogyny

One of the most infamous misogynists of pre-war Germany was Otto Weininger. Weininger precisely articulated the abjectness to which the Nazi regime had reduced the Jewish population. The present-day abjectness of Muslims can in a similar fashion be described by the misogyny prevalent in the community. The feistiness of women like Malala Yousafzai has to be foregrounded precisely because the system is extremely unjust and loaded against women.

Can the Muslim articulate a universal position, from a gender-neutral point of view? Can he/she speak for everybody? Can a unity of the subalterns be forged in place of a conflict, in the context of the CAA? The apocalyptic pathologies surrounding an emergent Islam are such that visions of the holocaust abound. Right-wing scholarship on Islam invariably makes it a polemical issue to take on Islam’s pretensions to social justice. Rajiv Malhotra, Sanjeev Sanyal and their ilk are intent upon securing geography, not its people, the people are present as chaff, fillers, not the conduit inside the cladding, but dispensable fodder to foundationalist notions of history. Churning the ocean-the very title carries mythographic connotations, and this work intends to appropriate the waters (literally) of the ocean, not the people that inhabited its coasts, in the way scholars from Sanjay Subramanyam to Mahmood Kooria have done.

Brahminism and Anthropology-The numerical logic of the majority 

Men are those who mostly aspire to manhood and women are those who aspire to womanhood. Thus masculinity is the aggregation of men and femininity is the aggregation of women. Thus the gender stereotypes have been constructed based on democracy. The question of gender is foundational for anthropology which in the Indian context is inflected with caste. There supposedly exists a core anthropological knowledge of India, which can only be accessed by the subject who ‘knows.’ This anthropological master subject who is supposed to know is the Brahmin supremacist subject.

Binary logic has been the bane of structuralist thought which has crafted our contemporary thinking on gender. The basic binary is of gender. In the case of a democratic polity like that of India, it is a case of majority. The majority of people aspire to belong to a category that affirms life, development and other positive moral values. On the other hand, the left-liberal politics and other ecological activists are seen as negatively oriented pessimists with little interest in furthering the claims of life on earth. Numerical logic predominates. Thus men form the conceptual majority, much like the consensus generated by EVM machines. Women are relegated as the underclass, to be patronized. The moment is a fertile one for the rightist elements to emerge from the woodwork, heralding primordial Indo-European wisdom. In this context, for an Otto Weininger and Islamic Alt-Right to emerge, would be a travesty of emancipation.

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Umar Nizar is a research scholar at JNU, Delhi.

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