Friday, April 23, 2010

Fish Catching the Angler

1. Where everything is bad, it must be worse to know the worst.

2. Terribly, in genuflection, the disassembled organs get merged, evoking a sense of unity between the thing and the eye. The merging superimposes an alien vision on the body.

3. Where vision is a programmatic myth in the phylogenetic axis, the silence over naming the substance is hopelessly gloomy, this is not that, this is not that, ad infinitum, or better still, this is not that till one goes back to the safety of the mother’s womb.

4. Did I say ‘the safety of the mother’s womb’? That’s a bad formulation. The fetus is bare life and womb is politics encapsulated in miniature space.

5. Did the victims move beyond the walls of the gas chambers when they were poisoned?

6. Are the gas chambers real or figments? Either you are in the gas chamber or you are not. Both prove the same thing: gas chambers never existed.

7. If you are lost in a forest, avoid the sound of the river for the river in the forest will invariably take you to civilization. Get perished in the divine violence.

8. “Being speaks Greek”, says Martin Heidegger. Yes, but what was the cost? Was the poet able to pay in flesh with his suicide? Did language tear him apart? Or did he tear language apart?

9. In Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar, in a language that is most elegant and poetic, escapes into philosophical cul-de-sac. Arguably the greatest twentieth century Indian philosopher, he recognized the symptom that Marx was but, paradoxically, the pragmatic political theorist made the Buddha a symptom that he himself fought in Marx.

10. Long before he was made the most celebrated and handsome icon of the protesting youth all over the world, and just before he was tragically killed in the Andean foothills of Bolivia, Che Guevara said: “I would rather be an illiterate Indio than a North American billionaire.” Certainly a North American billionaire he was not, but is he not in the elegant pages of The Motor Cycle Diaries a North American cowboy on motor back, leaving his beloved to Otero Silva’s poem? How else should one read this breathtaking passage of the revolutionary comrade? “The first commandment for every good explorer is: An expedition has two points, the point of departure and the point of arrival. If your intention is to make the second theoretical point coincide with the actual point of arrival, don’t think about the means – because the journey is a virtual space that finishes when it finishes, and there are as many means as there are different ways of “finishing.” That is to say, the means are endless.”

11. Three axes: Ken Kessey, the wonderful novelist, Milos Forman, the film maker who split styles into Czech and American, Jack Nicholson, the actor par excellence. And there is subtle silence and discrepancy, a no point. Years later, in his congratulatory message to Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez reminded that Bolivians had to wait 500 years until they were finally able to have an Aymara Indian as President. One could not even decide which is the most violent of all gestures.

12. In marriage, both man and woman make love to the same thing: man’s image of man. In prostitution, both man and woman make love to the same thing: man’s image of woman. That is why in marital sex man is duty-bound and in sexwork woman is duty-bound.

13. A sex worker has an essential advantage over the husband: she knows better than the s(i/e)x pack that pleasure in a fully reified world is a personal matter, not a community affair. That is why only a sex worker could chew betel leaf and enjoy the taste of it completely forgetting the client’s synchronized struggle between her thighs.

14. In liberal democracies, one is only responsible for one’s own pleasure. One can never have a claim on other’s pleasure. There other’s pleasure is other’s responsibility.

15. Knowledge happens where ‘I’ happens not to be.

16. When your sister cuts you off in desperation at the sterility of masculine theory, it shows that knowledge has gone wireless.

17. “Why only widow stories in Malayalam? Why no widower stories?” An activist feminist asks. One must dissect the question patiently and ruthlessly and, at the risk of being named a senseless misogynist, answer: history has always been written by the triumphant camp!

18. Widow stories, contrary to folk wisdom, are not tear-jerkers but subtle psychological thrillers, where revenge is enacted on the dead hubby’s ego (the impotency of which the wife concealed from him throughout his life) by the benevolent and subtle wife, who has the last laugh at the expense of other living husbands.

19. It is a pity of the contemporary Indian politics that both the Prime Minister and Home Minister understand only one language: the neo-classical orthodoxy of economism sprinkled at times with Keynesian homosexual discharge. Hence we are forced to remind them in the language that they understand: “Their anti-Maoist rhetoric has gone off the gold standard!”

20. It is not that marriage is an institution through which man reproduces human existence. On the contrary, man is an institution through which marriage reproduces its own existence.

21. In both his remarkable novels, The Reader and Homecoming, the German writer Bernhard Schlink seems to forget himself in childhood journeys. The tram in the former novel and the train in the latter do the same thing: they evoke in the child’s mind a sense of independence and at the same time keep away from the child a more powerful vision, namely, both the tram and the train run on pre-meditated rails.

22. The admirably beautiful work of the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal, is not conscious of the larger world. Like a true American, he thinks that the world is composed of three immutable stuffs: the US, FDR and the New Deal.

23. I have found some similarity between the life of Paul Morphy and Fermat! They were lawyers!

24. One finds it impossible to prove that one is one. This is how we would love to tackle Bertrand Russell’s arrogance.

25. When the prophet Hosea learned that his wife, Gomer, was whoring after other men, he did not abandon her as per the custom. Instead, he made Yahweh a jilted husband!

26. One of the most powerful parts of The Koran reads:
He is Allah alone!
Allah the Eternal
He begets not and is not begotten!
Nor is there like unto Him anyone!

Now let me quote Hegel: “In Mohammedanism the limited principle of the Jews is expanded into universality and thereby overcome. Here, God is no longer, as with the Asiatics, contemplated as existent in immediately sensuous mode but is apprehended as the one infinite sublime Power beyond all the multiplicity of the world. Mohammedanism is, therefore, in the strictest sense of the world, the religion of sublimity.”

I am more Hegelian than Hegel himself. Like Nietzsche, I cry in wilderness: “Menschliches, Allzumenschliches.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Thousand Plateaus of Delueze

The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb “to be,” but the fabric of rhizome is the conjunction “and…and…and” This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb “to be.” Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What are you heading for? These are totally useless questions.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,
A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Gilles Deleuze, arguably the most evasive of the twentieth century European philosophers, has nonetheless enormous impact upon a variety of discourses which, from a conservative paradigm, are not the happy hunting ground of philosophy. His works, in their efforts to break loose from the prison house of conventional thinking, foray into mind-boggling turfs of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, cinema, psychoanalysis and literature. He is one of the few philosophers in the world who could, within the space of a book, easily move through the insights of as diverse figures as Henry Bergson, Jacques Monod, Gilbert Simondon, Ilya Prigogine, Ludwig Boltzman, Franz Kafka and Sigmund Freud. The intensity of his thought was such that it provoked a fellow Parisian, Michel Foucault, an intellectual who in his own right overturned our ways of seeing, to make an astonishing speculation that at a later stage in technological human history twentieth century might be known as Deluezian. It was Delueze who, more than anybody else in twentieth century philosophy, enacted a downright libidinal revolution in the tiny space of philosophy and freed it from its illusory anchorage in the metaphysics of truth. In his earlier works, under the ruse of engaging the works of his holy trinity, Spinoza, Bergson and Nietzsche, he had already made a nomadic movement diametrically different and away from the classical philosophy’s esoteric and baffling leap into the transcendent world of God, Man, Truth, Presence, etc. And his later day collaboration with the revolutionary activist, Felix Guattari, inflated his allergy to the pristine world of presence to the entire texture of social reality itself. Now there was this ‘thought’ about the virtual worlds of machines, rhizomes, assemblages, transversal connections, kisses devoid of Hegelian desire, lines of flight, molecular revolutions, hand floating over the flat of a stomach without an ‘I’ and ‘you’ to mediate between them, and…and…and.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Aphorisms from Train Journey

1. Aphorisms are of great help for a nerd in exile. Pen reduces the length of stupidity.

2. What is most beautiful in thought is also the most abominable about thought. Left to itself thought degenerates into vegetarianism.

3. In the rarefied language and beefed-up muscles of the stars, there is a well-joined spider web. Behind their dark glass, they are completely blind.

4. The well-behaved girls do not parade the quality of their upbringing. Their behavior merely shows that they have bowel movement.

5. Alas! In silence, one finds volcanic violence.

6. Between a morning dream and mathematics, the child goes for the latter.

7. Our parents taught us all the lies about life. And when we started to revolt, they conveniently took shelter in illness, old age and old-age homes.

8. A dead man does not break wind. That’s enough proof that he has become gentle.

9. On the first day at college, the child thinks that at the end of the tunnel there is light. But in the end what they get is not light but a tunnel vision.

10. The self-professed sexperts tell young girls that the latter can control their men by giving blow job as men absolutely love BJ. But porn film teaches us that men love BJ not because they love BJ but because they love passivity of non-masculinity.

11. Nora first flirted safely with Rank at home. Then she fought with Helmer. Then she flirted capriciously with emerging service sector economy. She made woman the service animal of the capital whereas Helmer is yet to master the passivity of a blow jobed male actor. Both the heroine and hero are jokes!

12. What is insufferable about Amartya Sen is not just the outdatedness of his thought system but also his gigantean ability to do in the name of economics what every one of us did in our childhood and forgot: blabbering.

13. Only the woman has the guts to state the truth. But she cries immediately!

14. Raghavan Atholi adumbrates into nerves. His poetry captures what his fiction misses. His fiction hits sharply where his poetry fails. That’s rare in Malayalam writers.

15. The poignancy of E. L. Doctrow in “Billy Bathgate’ and ‘The Book of Daniel’ could not be construed alone against the backdrop of the disappearance of the American radical left politics in baby boomer paunches. It must be traced to the Old Testament, when Prophet Elijah, under profound depression and fleeing from Jezebel’s anger, took shelter on Mount Sinai. Waiting for a revelation from Yahweh, the Prophet was instrumental in creating one of the most arresting passages in the Bible:

“Then Yahweh himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before Yahweh. But Yahweh was no longer in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But Yahweh was no longer in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But Yahweh was no longer in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with a cloak.”

This is not the imminent God of the most angelic of all philosophers, Spinoza. This is still the transcendent god of the Old Testament. But here Yahweh seems to be refusing to be the terrific other that he is as he is revealed to other prophets. Neither being in the violence of a storm, nor of an earthquake, nor of a fire, he conceals himself in the whisper of a gentle breeze. But it is precisely in this softness that he is transcendental terror at its purest. Why else did Elijah cover his face with a cloak?

16. When Lacan said ‘Marx invented the symptom’, he was lying. What this cryptic foe of Cartesian cogito meant was: ‘Hegel invented the symptom’.

17. In both ‘King Lear’ and ‘Merchant of Venice’ love gets quantified in markets’ terms. Cordilia’s flavored talk for feudal love has a quid pro quo in Bassanio’s choosing of the lead casket that exalts, more than anything, risk, the businessman’s gospel. Still we call the bastard son and his lovers, the villains.

18. In the year 1988, in the primary class we were all surprised when she said she was the daughter of Buddhist parents. Years later, in 1999, I accidentally saw her in a village in Palakkad, treating her patients and giving them medicines. Of recent, a friend told me she had left her medical profession and taken up prostitution. Few days ago, from the obituary note of a former film actor and drama artist I learned that she is his daughter.
This confirms my long-standing doubt that of all the people in the Axial Age, the Greeks were closer to the Real.

19. P. Govinda Pillai, who has edited the complete collections of E. M. S. Nampoodiripad’s nonsense, confirms that editing is an oedipal act in the strict Freudian sense of the term. Is it merely an accident that in Malayalam ‘Pillai’ denotes child and, as a surname, nair identity, nair being a community the women of which had sambandham sex with Nampoodiris?

20. Meat eating does not produce on the bourgeoisie table the profound guilt that our forefathers and foremothers felt after killing beings on the same levels as themselves. Instead the bourgeoisie has extracted the guilt from the particular and grafted it onto the universal so that at every moment in his life he laments ‘mea culpa’, the reason for which is forever beyond his grasp.

21. The loquaciousness that is characteristics of an average ugly Indian, rather than being, as Amartya Sen suggests, a testimony to the argumentative nature of Indians, is a psychological conservatism which ensures that nothing is transformed.

22. Man is insecure at its most in his search for security.

23. We must avoid all temptation to over identify with truth, not because of any metaphysical angst that dismisses truth as illusion but because in a fully reified world truth can only take the form of primordial innocence, which is nothing but violence at its purest.

24. Is it not an irony of philosophy and history that Hegel, who has put the following idea in the most sublime and tragic fashion, is considered a thug of western philosophy?

“Something becomes an Other, but the Other is itself a Some thing, thus it becomes similarly an Other and so forth to infinity. This infinity is the bad or negative infinity inasmuch as it is nothing other than the negation of the finite which, moreover, is consequently reborn as well, as it is not suppressed.”

Brilliant! This is philosophy at its speculative best. Bad infinity! Negative infinity! Finite reborn in infinity in infinite times! Has anyone thought of it, or better still, has anyone put it with such epigrammatic clarity?

25. Mandelbrot set is a child’s dreams come true!

26. What would Hegel tell the Russian-German mathematician Georg Cantor, whose theory of infinite numbers is as beautiful as Euclid’s theory concerning the infiniteness of prime numbers?

27. Kavya Madhavan’s post-divorce statements have an essential advantage over the actress as well as her films: they are interesting at least.

Under/Graduate English Education in Kerala

Let me begin by identifying what I see as the main issues in the present education system, that function as obstacles to an effective teaching and learning of English at the undergraduate level.
One, the surreal dimension of the student-teacher ratio in the classroom. Most often than not, individual teachers are forced to teach almost 70 to 100 or more students in a general English classroom, which actually limits considerably the teacher’s ability to meaningfully interact with the students or bring into the context of the classroom even slightly unconventional, let alone radical and innovative, teaching methods. The trouble is considerably accentuated when we consider the non-availability of audio-video aids for general English teaching, which is in fact an idea strongly suggested by the UGC for teaching in a classroom of this magnitude.
Two, the confusion regarding the status of English teaching at the undergraduate level in our university system. There is a widespread allegation, covert as well as overt, against the current English teaching, which often assumes the form of an indictment that our students as not capable of producing a single meaningful sentence even after the completion of the degree course. The tragedy, in my view, lies in the fact that we have not yet defined the purpose of English teaching at the undergraduate level. While most universities in the world view English studies as part of what can be called critical humanities, where the thrust is on the critical reading of a text, our undergraduate general English teaching, I presume, is geared toward developing the communication skills of the student. There is nothing wrong in our approach, given Kerala’s educational context and its requirements. In fact, it is laudable. But there is something terribly wrong when we try to develop the communication skills of the students with the help of texts that other universities would use as part of their critical humanities curricula. Or to put simply, Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy or John Keats will not help the students of general English, whose command over English is abysmally low. They help only those who have a decent command over English, and also maybe, the guide lobby. Moreover, the present globalized political economy demands that students use an English that is slightly contemporary and is suited to the present demands, rather than a language of classical antiquity.
Three, the difference in socializations of students belonging to earlier eras and the present. The early mental world of the students of past generation was conditioned by stories, poems or songs that they heard in their homes. And hence they could conjure up a plethora of worlds out of such stories using their imaginative and intellectual faculties. The syllabus framed then fitted well into this mental-world. But today, barring the students from extremely marginalized contexts, most students of Kerala, which is fast becoming ‘a society of spectacle’, live in a world where there abound images all around them. They do not have to imagine a world. The world is constructed visually before them in the form of animations, albums, films, MMS, net tubes, etc. I do not mean to suggest that they are stupid on account of this (in fact, I have listened to some teachers categorizing the present students as dry. I do not buy that argument). Rather, the suggestion is that their imagination works in a different direction. The difference between the earlier generation of students and present one could be put neatly as the difference between imaging a world and performing a world. That is precisely the reason why things that could only be imagined in the wildest of dreams of the earlier generation, are being practiced by the current generation, on and off the campus. Whatever may be one’s moral persuasions, we have to agree that the current generation performs the world in tune with the world that is visually given to them. The general English syllabus of our university has so far been framed to satisfy the imaginative curiosity of the student. But insofar as it brings in a question of developing the communication skills, the existing approach has to be changed and the performative vitality of the student must be given preference.
Last, the failure of the current examination system to gauge the potential of the student. Most of you may agree that the current examination system is more suited to assess the memorizing ability of the student than to either test the critical thinking ability or linguistic skill of the student. If one has the ability to memorize things, in the current system one can, even without the application of one’s critical thinking faculty or linguistic faculty, easily come out in flying colors, creating a general impression that the student has used both. Worse still, in the present system, if a student has both analytical skill and linguistic skill, but he or she is poor at memorizing things under pressure, he or she may end up as big failure. It is high time we did away with memory-based examination system and introduced a system which would give more importance to analytical and linguistic skills of the student. This will have the advantage of taking much of the pressure away from the students’ already overburdened minds. I must also point out that the duration of examination is also bit strenuous for the students.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Dance of Darkness

All things are full of weariness beyond uttering. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes: 1: 8-9)

Every flower
As the Japanese have correctly understood
Is the dance of darkness
A smile to the sun
Rooted firmly in the earth
That’s how the dancer becomes
The Buddha knew it
Once he was a lion
He had terrible memory
Died of dysentery though
The body is painted white
That’s its technique
There you see darkness
Now you travel
It’s no nonsense
The stars are just traces
Fusions which could evaporate millions
But then you know
In childhood, in the front yard
On a mat we would all lie
And sing and sing
I would count the stars
And thought it was all real
Years later
They are still there
So unreal
Because we don’t know
If they are still there
Like a china pot in the outer space

The valetudinary state of the universe
Universe itself has migraine

Thursday, June 25, 2009

കണ്ണിനു കണ്ണു, പല്ലിനു പല്ല്

പണ്ടു നീതിയും പ്രതികാരവും തമ്മില്ലുള്ള ദൂരം വളരെ നേർത്തതായിരുന്നു. കണ്ണിനു കണ്ണു, പല്ലിനു പല്ല് എന്നതു ഒരേ സമയം നീതിയുടേയും പ്രതികാരത്തിന്റേയും പ്രസ്താവന ആയിരുന്നു. ഇതു നീതിയാണോ കാടത്തമല്ലേ എന്നു ചോദിച്ചാൽ, പഴയ ക്രൈസ്തവ ചിന്തകനും ആധുനിക മാർക്ക്സിസ്റ്റ് ചിന്തകനും മറുപടി ഉണ്ടു: കണ്ണിനു പകരം കണ്ണു മാത്രമേ എടുക്കാവൂ. അൽപം പോലും കൂടാനും പാടില്ല, കുറയാനും പാടില്ല. ജസ്റ്റ് ആയ അളവ് മാത്രം. അതാണു ഇതിലെ ജസ്റ്റിസ്.

ആധുനിക നീതി സംവിധാനം വരുന്നതു പ്രതികാരത്തിൽ നിന്നും വിഭിന്നമെന്നു തോന്നിപ്പിക്കുന്ന ആബ്സ്റ്റാക്റ്റ് ആയ ഒരു ജസ്റ്റിസിനെ വിഭാവനം ചെയ്തു കൊണ്ടാണു. തിന്മയെ ശിക്ഷിക്കുവാനുള്ള അധികാരം തിന്മയുടെ ഇരകളിൽ നിന്ന് അടർത്തി മാറ്റി, അതു ഭരണകൂടത്തിന്റെ ചുമതലയാക്കുന്നിടത്താണു പ്രതികാരവും നീതിയും വഴിപിരിയുന്നതു. അപ്പോഴാണു നീതി ദേവത അന്ധയായി ജനിക്കുന്നതും. അഡോർണ്ണയും ഹോർക്ക്ഹൈമറും ചൂണ്ടികാണിച്ചതു പോലെ, നീതി ദേവതയുടെ കണ്ണുകളെ മൂടിയ നാട ഒരേ സമയം അവളുടെ പക്ഷപാതരാഹിത്യത്തേയും അസ്വാതന്ത്രത്തേയും സൂചിപ്പിക്കുന്നുണ്ടു. അവൾ അസ്വാതന്ത്രയാകുന്നതിനു കാരണം അവളുടെ മുൻപിൽ തെറ്റുകളും കുറ്റങ്ങളും കൃത്യമായി അടയാളപ്പെടുത്തിയിട്ടുള്ള നീതിസംഹിതയായി വരുന്നതു അവളുടെ താൽപര്യങ്ങളല്ല എന്നതു കൊണ്ടാണു (ഹൈകോടതി ജഡ്ജിയായി സ്ഥാനമേറ്റ ഒരു ജഡ്ജി ഈയിടെ പറഞ്ഞ ഒരു വസ്തുത ഇവിടെ പ്രസക്തമാണെന്നു തോന്നുന്നു. വ്യക്തിപരമായി മറ്റുള്ളവരുടെ ദുഃഖങ്ങൾ അവരെ അലട്ടാറുണ്ടെങ്കിലും, ജഡ്ജി കസേരയിൽ കയറിയാൽ അത്തരം വിഷമങ്ങൾക്കു വഴിപ്പെടാത്ത ഒരു വ്യക്തിയായാണു അവർ ഒരു അഭിമുഖത്തിൽ സ്വയം അവതരിപ്പിച്ചതു). ആധുനിക സമൂഹത്തിൽ നീതി ദേവത കേൾക്കുന്നതു, മുൻപേ തന്നെ രൂപകൽപന ചെയ്തുവെച്ചിട്ടുള്ള നീതിസംഹിതയെ അടിസ്ഥാനപ്പെടുത്തിയുള്ള വാദഗതികളാണു. വികാരമല്ല, യുക്തിയുടെ അസ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം അല്ലെങ്കിൽ അസ്വാതന്ത്രത്തിന്റെ യുക്തി ആണു അവളെ ഭരിക്കുന്നതു. മറ്റുള്ളവരുടെ കണ്ണുനീർ കാണുവാനോ, അതു കണ്ടുകൊണ്ടു സ്വയം കരയുവാനോ നീതിദേവതക്കു സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യമില്ല. കാരണം അവൾ സ്വയം അന്ധയാണു. അവൾ വിശ്വസിക്കുന്നതു അവളുടെ ലക്ഷ്യം പ്രതികാരമല്ല മറിച്ചു നീതിയാണു എന്നാണു.

കുറ്റവാളിയും കുറ്റാന്വേഷകനും കാണിയും തമ്മില്ലുള്ള വ്യതിയാനം ഇല്ലാതാകുന്നുവെന്നു കൂടുതൽ തെളിയുന്ന ഉത്തരാധുനിക കാലഘട്ടത്തിൽ നീതിയും പ്രതികാരവും തമ്മില്ലുണ്ടെന്നു നാം വിചാരിച്ചിരുന്ന അകലം വീണ്ടും നേർത്തുവരുന്നു. അതുകൊണ്ടാണല്ലോ ഉത്തരാധുനിക വ്യവസ്ഥകളിൽ മദ്ധ്യവർത്തി സമൂഹം ഇരകളാകുന്ന ഓരോ കുറ്റകൃത്യത്തിന്റേയും വിചാരണ മീഡിയായും പൊതുസമൂഹവും നടത്തുന്നതു. ജസീക്ക ലാൽ കൊലപാതകം മുതൽ കണിച്ചികുളങ്ങര കൊലപാതകം വരെയുള്ള പല കുറ്റകൃത്യങ്ങളുടെയും പൊതു വിചാരണയും നീതിക്കു വേണ്ടിയുള്ള സമരവും പലപ്പോഴായി മീഡിയായിൽ നമ്മൽ കണ്ടതാണു. ഒരു കൊലപാതകത്തിൽ വ്യക്ത്തിപരമായി നഷ്ടം അനുഭവിച്ച വ്യക്ത്തികൾ നീതി ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നതു നമുക്കു മനസ്സില്ലാക്കാം. നഷ്ടവും വേദനയും ഒരു വൈയക്ത്തികമായ അനുഭവമായി ഒരു ജീവിതം മുഴുവൻ അനുഭവിച്ചു തീർക്കേണ്ടവരാണു അവർ. പക്ഷെ ഈ കൊലപാതക ദുരന്തം വ്യക്ത്തിപരമായ ഒരു നഷ്ടമായി അനുഭവിക്കാത്ത നമ്മൾ നീതി എന്നപേരിൽ ഇന്ന ആളെ ഇപ്രകാരം ശിക്ഷിക്കണമെന്നു ആവ്ശ്യപ്പെടുന്നതിന്നു കാരണം? (അത്രയൊന്നും പൊതുസ്ഥലങ്ങളിൽ പ്രത്യക്ഷപെടാത്ത ബുദ്ധൊദേബ് ഭട്ടാചാർജൊയുടെ ഭാര്യ, മീര ഭട്ടാചാർജൊ, ആദ്യമായി വളരെ ശക്തമായി പൊതുസമൂഹത്തിൽ ഇടപെട്ടതു തൂക്കിലേറ്റപെടാൻ വിധിക്കപ്പെട്ട ഒരു വ്യക്ത്തിയുടെ ദയാ ഹർജി ഇന്ത്യൻ പ്രസിഡന്റിന്റെ പരിഗണനയിലിരിക്കുംബോഴായിരുന്നു. ധൊനൊഞ്ഞോയ് ചാറ്റർജീയുടെ കഴുമരത്തിലുള്ള മരണം വാച്ച്യാർത്ഥത്തിൽ തന്നെ അന്നു അവർ ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടിരുന്നു.)

ഇത്തരം ഇടപെടലുകൾക്കു നമ്മൾ പലപ്പോഴും ന്യായീകരണമായി പറയുന്നതിതാണു: നാളെ സമാന സാഹചര്യത്തിൽ നീയും ഞാനും കൊലചെയ്യപ്പെട്ടേക്കാം, നമ്മുടെ പെണ്മക്കൾ ബലാത്സംഗം ചെയ്യപ്പെട്ടേക്കാം. അതുകൊണ്ടു ഇത്തരം കുറ്റവാളികൾക്കു മാതൃകാപരമായ ശിക്ഷ നൽകണം.

പക്ഷെ അത്തരം യുക്ത്തിയിൽ നമ്മൾ കണ്ടില്ലെന്നു നടിക്കുന്ന, നമ്മൾ മറച്ചുപിടിക്കുന്ന, ഭയാനകമായ ഒരു ചോദ്യമുണ്ട്: നാളെ സമാന സാഹചര്യത്തിൽ നമ്മളും കൊലപാതകികളാകുമോ, നമ്മളും ബലാത്സംഗം ചെയ്യുമോ?

എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണു നാം എല്ലായ്പോഴും ഇരയുമായി മാത്രം താദത്മ്യം പ്രാപിക്കുന്നതു? എന്തു കൊണ്ടാണു നാം കുറ്റവാളിയുമായി താദത്മ്യം പ്രാപിക്കാത്തതു? എന്തു കൊണ്ടാണു നമ്മുടെ ബോധ മനസ്സ് നമ്മളും കുറ്റവാളിയാകുമോ എന്ന ചോദ്യം എല്ലായ്പോഴും ഒഴിവാക്കുന്നതു?

ചാറ്റർജീയെ തൂക്കിലേറ്റുവാനായി മീര ഭട്ടാചാർജൊ അപ്പീൽ ചെയ്തതു സ്ത്രീകളുടെ മാതൃത്വത്തിലേക്കായിരുന്നു. എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണു നമ്മളിലുള്ള കൊലപാതകിയ്യെ/ശിക്ഷകനെ ന്യായികരിക്കുവാനായി നാം രക്ഷകർത്താവു ചമയുന്നതു? തെരുവിൽ ഒരു വ്യക്ത്തി ദൈന്യതയോടെ അലയുംബോൾ, ആ ദൈന്യത മാറ്റുവാൻ എന്തുകൊണ്ടാണു നമ്മിലെ രക്ഷിതാവ് ഉണരാത്തതു? ആ ദൈന്യത മാറ്റേണ്ടതു ഭരണകൂടത്തിന്റെ ചുമതലയാണെന്നു നമ്മൾ സ്വയം ആശ്വസിക്കുന്തതെന്തിനാണു? ഉത്തരവാദിത്തത്തിന്റെ മുൻപിൽ ഇൻഡിഫറന്റ് ആകുന്ന രക്ഷിതാവിനു എന്തു കൊണ്ടു ശിക്ഷയുടെ കാര്യത്തിൽ ഇൻഡിഫറന്റ് ആയികൂട?

സമാന സാഹചര്യത്തിൽ നമ്മളും കൊലപാതകികൾ ആവും, നമ്മളും ബലാത്സംഗം ചെയ്യും എന്നു നമ്മൾ അബോധപൂർവ്വം ഭയക്കുന്നുണ്ടോ? ഈ ഭയാനകമായ അബോധ അറിവിനെ ഇല്ലായ്മ ചെയ്യാനാണോ, മറച്ചു പിടിക്കാനാണൊ നാം നീതി/പ്രതികാരം ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നതു? സർ ജെയിംസ് ഫ്രെയ്സറിന്റെ ഹോമിയൊപതിക്കു മാജിക്കിനെക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള നിരീക്ഷണം ഇവിടെ തീർത്തും ഉചിതമാണു: ശത്രുവിനെ കൊല്ലാനായി ശത്രുവിന്റെ ഇമെയ്ജ് കത്തിക്കുകയോ നശിപ്പിക്കുകയോ ചെയ്യുക ('അങ്കിൾ ബൺ' എന്ന സിനിമയിൽ, മോഹൻലാലിന്റെ മരണം ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്ന അദ്ധേഹത്തിന്റെ ചേട്ടന്റെ മകൾ കത്തികൊണ്ടു മോഹൻലാലിന്റെ ഫോട്ടോ നശിപ്പിക്കുന്നുണ്ടു). ശത്രു പക്ഷെ ഫ്രോയിറ്റും മാർക്ക്സും നീച്ചേയും തിരിച്ചറി ഞ്ഞതുപോലെ നമൂടെ യുക്തിക്കും ശരീരത്തിനും നിയന്ത്രിക്കാനാവാത്ത അഞ്ഞാത ശക്ത്തികളാണു. അതിന്റെ ഇമെയ്ജ് മാത്രമാണു തൂക്കിലേറ്റപെടെണ്ട ഓരോ കുറ്റവാളിയും. ഉത്തരാധുനിക സമൂഹം നമ്മുടെ മുന്നിൽ വെക്കുന്ന യാഥാർത്ഥ്യവും അതാണു: നമ്മുടെ മുൻപോട്ടുള്ള പാത ഒരേ സമയം തന്നെ പ്രതികാരത്തിന്റേയും നീതിയുടേയും ആണു. ഓരോ നിമിഷവും പ്രതികാരം ചെയ്തില്ലെങ്കിൽ, നമ്മുടെ ഉള്ളിൽ തിളച്ചു മറിയുന്ന ആ വികാരത്തിന്റെ അനുസ്യൂതമായ തള്ളിച്ചയിൽ നാം പൊട്ടിചിതറും.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Two Deaths on the Wood

In him crystallized three Judaic suicides
For being an unbelieving Jew
The kiss unleashed a blood stream
Whirlpooled in Gulag and Shoah

Much later Dante, the cosmic traveler
In the ditch of Inferno
Captured in his Azury eyes
Prophet Mohammed in similar fate
Burst from chin to anus
With inner organs out

To fulfill the will of the Father
He sacrificed sacrifice even
Unto infinity
Here the pain went beyond the death

His master his victim
Unlike him was killed on a civilized wood
Which was chiseled by polished hands
He submitted with passing doubt
And sacrificed the flesh to free the spirit
There the spirit went beyond the pain