Lessons from Hyderabad election result
- 06 December, 2020
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- লেখক: সৌমিত্র বসু
The Despicable, Obnoxious, nefarious IT culture of global and national dominance of Crapitalism
When BJP is putting up a facade of “celebration” of moving up from 4 to 40 in the Hyderabad civic elections , their leaders have not shown their faces – for they know it very well, that their “project” has failed. That the so-touted Cow belt culture of Aryan Cow belt has been ushered in through the Crappy English culture of IT in extended Hyderabad is showing up as a dichotomized face and a paradox, it is actually the dialectical truth of one serving the other, a kind of overdetermination of Americanized crude English in the global arena serving and being fed by the Hindization within India, a crappy bastardized Hindi , to that matter, that they are bringing in . Ushered in by the “outsiders” in the name of being a “cosmopolitan” city, IT professionals from all around India are sort of “enclosed” in to bring over the change like a neo-colonial city centre, alluring the local culture and the people to the privileged apartment based fleeting culture where unitary outsider family would live in for a few years isolated and insulated from the local populace and local culture and would entice the aspiring youth to follow suit. These upstarts loose all relevance to the local culture[if they are products of that culture] and would be harbingers of an alien culture in another distant city without at all trying to understand and reconcile with any kind of “locality” . They fancy themselves as “global citizens” and develop a disdain to the residing domicile and the culture. But they have money and they are mobile. The familial relationship and relationship to the concept of “mother homeland” is considered as a dispensable appendage and disdainable locality attitude that “needs” to be shed off as fast as possible. This trait would be fleeting , tickling and would learn the least from any culture , or any tradition whatsoever. They claim their false snootiness to such an extent that they do not even imbibe the metropolitan culture , barring some fads that are picked up from the streets, they belong to a nowhere land with a nowhere culture and do not learn “nothing”, but the differential wealth they kind of undeserved-begotten gives them the hegemony over every shade of tradition and human culture.
Culture is a long standing essence of the development of Capital within a society and definitely thrived [does not anymore] in modern times within metropolitan cities. Every nation-state and culture does have its sub-metropolitans that scale up to a hierarchy of a global superstructure , from the small linguistic or ethnic concentration centres up to the level of the international metropolitan centres and over time the multiple metropolitan centres converge to one centre. At this present age it is Americanism or American English, with no depth of local American flavours. [Even while writing the socalled “Business world” demands a kind of corporatized English instead of comprehensive nice English , where buzzwords and acronyms weigh much more smart than words and phrases] . The IT culture is the global expression of a very less-potent service oriented desk-fixed virtual and digital world. This is a “standard” now , the standard that inhibits creativity and levels down every nuance , and very paradoxically this culture eulogizes it as “disruption” . The word , which for long meant pejorative , now is a “smart” epithet but again the essence is even much more pejorative compared to what we knew as some kind of a “bull-in-the-china-shop” for a new “revolutionary” culture of creativity and innovativeness. This is the confusion that is created by the present day service capitalism that in the name of creativity , depresses all kinds of potent-new-moments of cerebral built-up.
After the Partition days when the British physically and visibly left India [not 47 but around 56- till the time the service companies had British ownership like public utilities and manufacturing] India flourished a kind of “dependent” urban manufacturing infrastructure and a corroborating super-structure, mainly based on manufacturing of heavy industries and ancillary industries. Agriculture was grossly neglected till about mid of seventies. Let us take a strong note that India was never an agricultural hub, ever in pre-British days. It was a trade megalith owing to her enviable geo-positioning. The country was made emaciated by the British and made an apology of an agricultural country where agriculture was mainly for sustaining the producing paupers who could not create considerable “market”. The existence of local agriculture market called “haats” , and even a denuded version called “Bazaar” , could never flourish to the extent of middle eastern counterparts. Till the middle of 70’s this was the cause of sloth development of the “growth” of the market. The very paltry input of Capital in the agricultural sector through public sector financing actually created a meteoric rise of development in some parts of the country. These parts produced so much surplus that not only could feed the entire country , export even some of them and even could send the next generation in the metropolitan centres of the world as menial service personnel and then scaled up to even fill up the large gap of empty educational edifices of the West. The third generation thus became Westernized and now they are calling shots in every English language nations of the world. But that serves those countries with a rather cheaper input giving rise to a big-fat service sector up there, first in the service sector of the so-called hi-tech world and now even to the administrative echelons. They are happy, to a large extent as their needs are fulfilled , but the contending middle class of those countries it spelled bloody enmity through steep competition [with those “natives” who flocked in there and elbowed out the localites] that is the essence of Trumpism, that could very easily gelled in the entire white laid-back settlers of North America and UK, and even Australia to some extent] US is now a sharply divided country right vertically and this is the result of the “out-sourcable”,”virtually-united” global production system .
In parallel we saw the rise of highly skilled manufacturing culture in the different cities of India [the other third world countries could not pace up- not even China , whose development came much late] . The skill development in these manufacturing units built up a community that is internationally competing and can work anywhere and produce wonders. The building up of sky-kissing city structures first in US and then in the middle east by these middle ranking engineers gave India a strong Engineering culture that could challenge the West [if she wanted to, but never tried so for political sycophancy]. The industrial working class developed in India along with all its characteristics in creation, in development in growth and also in protest and dissent demanding political rights. There were no technology that was and could not have been manufactured in India, that ranged from civil to military production as well. The political consciousness of the workers as a “class-for-itself”, concomitantly developed with their technical skill as it was supposed to be. The supreme wholesome development of the working class in India brought within the cities the different varieties of progressive cultures and outlooks along with the various forms and varieties of Leftism. The exponential growth of Engineering and Medical education corroboratingly developed the awesome development of the liberal arts and Indian urban sections not only became a part of the West, but competed and actually snatched off the topmost prize positions of the English language liberal arts. India still enjoys the top position of English based education compared to any other third world countries , in terms of number of students and their capacities.
Then came in the Finance sector- this sector changed the orientation from Engineering to Service and Administration. From the plants and production centres the focus and orientation shifted to the Desk jobs. The high paying jobs did not go to those who roamed about in the plants but sat tight in tables and calculated – they euphemistically named it as “management” . Doom was spelled! . All endeavours of creativity were nudged into developing “strategies”, “tactics” and “methods” with a very logical inevitability of outsmarting consumers , nudging them instead to spend money on life-style products by shifting consumerism from livelihood products. Big Cities stopped becoming manufacturing hubs and turned into financial hubs with large banks and merchant houses. Marketing and not producing became the more-smart activity that siphoned off all the creative brains. Number crunching and mathematics came to serve finance [called financial engineering] and book keeping. With even further development of finance and mathematical discrete computational activities prediction and trend measurement became the “smart-science” of the age. Manufacturing saw a dearth of brain supply and albeit grudgingly, gave way to desk manipulative activities.
Finance and financing always carried a huge burden of the decelerating growth rate albeit being called smartness., because the less and less of production variety started to show up the internal rickety bones without supporting muscle strengths.
In this juncture came in programming- a knowledge that required no specialized knowledge than a six grader in the school , with may be a little more focus. The money that this new “invention” allured in all kinds of school graduates of any kind. The vacuity of the supporting knowledge system did not create organic intellectuals or highly thinking elements in the society , but they had money , and much more than in any other profession in the society. The better of them flew over to the West in lure of “smoother” and enviable middle class life-style. The second ranking ones stayed back but because of more demand than supply, they “made” good money. All the top class educational institutions dumped off all their students in this industry. Need of further and higher studies lost its relative importance and people got their dream jobs with simple graduations in very specific “skills”. Students were thus getting more “trained” than getting “educated” ,. Smart meant in India, to be a not-so-brilliant programmer and high education, erudition, practice-made-perfect style lost all utility value.
This is the real culprit. Families were allured to “prepare” their wards, somehow to become a programmer and a manager to serve in IT companies [India never walked the road of high end design of chips nor even robotics , when china developed itself in manufacturing and became the money attracting hub of the world, thus becoming super rich in the capitalist sense of the word- China could then spread out the internationally gotten wealth to develop its basic service sector like health, logistics, infrastructure and free education and created many cities from erstwhile villages- inequality, skewness rose sky high but the basic level was secured through the spill over wealth that was invested within the country – the same wealth that actually was siphoned in from the West- they thus developed a national capitalism juicing out not only the other third world markets but also the first world ones] .
When China could stomach the inequality and skewness, India threw up because the base in China was secured and in India it was not. People became increasing pauperized with investing more and more labour power and getting less and less wages while seeing the price index rising so high that people had less and less to consume. The little they saved went off in financing their advanced life medical attentions. India swished herself into crisis and multiple and more frequent occurrences of crises much faster than she could recoup from every such bruise.
The savings of the consumers were siphoned off in non-personal developments , or simply in terms of maintaining the normal comparable middle class life-style.
The envy and chagrin of this kind of competition where the urbanized and privileged section enjoyed as opposed to the localite populace became the line of tension smothering into fault-lines. Those who are in traditional professionals felt the pinch of lifestyle with the negative demonstrative effect from these upstart IT kids who could glide in Malls and multiplexes in fashionable cars and dresses , where the middleclass toilers even working harder cannot make any life-style development.
Culturally , the localites who actually are the custodians of traditions and history and appreciations found so disparagingly marginalized and therefore delegitimized that the normal competitive chagrin gave rise to a long standing alienation from these “outsiders”, for which the snootyness of the “outsiders” are only to be blamed.
This fault-line is now being manipulated by the ruling do-nothing crass fascist party that now is running the country. Their style of “one country one culture” is best spread around by those who DO NOT BELONG., who are as flickery and as fleeting as effervescence, and can be “installed” and “de-installed” and then “re-installed somewhere else in the shortest possible time. All they need is one method of communication and least interest in any culture and if they can manage with the lowest common factor, they are jolly good satisfied. This is the section , that always would support the “one-ness” strategy.
That was the reason why the UP CM went and could spread venom going even to the extent of suggesting renaming Hyderabad into some Aryan –North Indian imagined name. The fascists thought they got a sure-enough strategy of “uniting” the country with all vacuous propositions and lies and people will follow suit. The jolt they got from Hyderabad is a moment in Indian political history! People want their neighbourhood, they want local tradition that they were nurturing so long and this cannot be disdained as “nostalgia”. This is real, and any congregation would look for the tradition of their collective identity, may be with a little amenable and acceptable nudging here and there.
What is globalization, is in here nationalism of the fascist “one-nation one culture”, even though the exact form of culture might differ. Thus if English style is too heavy to handle , try with the second best – that is commercialized Hindi and one medium and standard of education that will smudge all the variety. But this time people could not take it anymore. Biharis lost their identity long ago and allowed themselves to go through the malleability of being Hindized but Hyderabadis resisted, and resisted they did very strongly . Even when the relative ratio of “outsiders” to the “local populace” is steady denuding, all factors taken into consideration, they wanted to stay localized, at least in terms of culture. . The YSR-MIM combination spelled doom. MIM can never walk with BJP openly, and that is a real impregnable limitation for them. YSR’s party has an existential barrier to split and the people this time will not take it lying low. This is the triumphant condition against fascism. This that means the condition of “local cultural sustenance” against “outsiders” or so to say “outsiderism” is a specific feature of class struggle, even when it is enacted within the middle class urban-facing sections of the people. We would see many such repeat occurrences in other cities of India and in other states- Bengal being one of them.