Thursday 20 June 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Thinking Freely

A Matter of Conscience


The key to understanding fascism lies in the individuality and the individual consciousness....An act which promotes humanism and conscience within the State and its people is unlikely to be fascist.

Arnab was arrested for abetment of suicide. Mumbai High Court said the arrest was not illegal. Supreme Court, however, gave him interim bail and released him urgently. 

Several dissidents like Sanjeev Bhatt languish in jail without proper trial or bail. Several elderly social reformists with tremendous amount of moral authority, austerity and sincerity are arrested by the State and languish in jail at tremendous risk to their lives, with no proper charges framed against them and no proper trial. 

One is reminded of the bhajan "Ramchandra keh gaye Siya se aisa Kali yug ayega hans chugega daanaa dunka, kauaa moti khaayega. "

And such is the control of the State over the minds of its people that many intelligent and educated Indians do not understand which is fascist-- Arnab's arrest or arrest of people like Stan Swamy who is currently teaching humanist values in jail and Sudha Bharadwaj who gave up US citizenship and job to work in India amidst the Adivasis...and many others.  

 "Until they become conscious,  they will never rebel, and until they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious " said George Orwell in 1984.

This statement of Orwell applies to the collective. The key to understanding fascism does not lie in the collective. Orwell realised that. The key to understand fascism lies neither in the collective understanding of fascism nor in the collective opposition or resistance to fascism. This is because the collective or the society as a whole cannot defy fascism without being fascist. The INDIVIDUAL can. The key to understanding fascism lies in the individuality and the individual consciousness. 

" If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can't have any result whatever , you have beaten them" said Orwell in 1984, in his classic description of the Orwellian state. 

Herein lies the key to understanding fascism and differentiating it from a just act. That which suppresses the neocortical emotions amongst the people of the State is fascist. That which replaces the neocortical emotions of the individual  -- that is emotions like CONSCIENCE, unconditional love, compassion, empathy, altruism etc with primitive emotions like anger, fear, hate, jealousy, fight or flight etc is fascist. 

In other words, an act which causes the humans to lose humanism is fascist. An act which promotes humanism and conscience within the State-- either by the State or by non state actors, is unlikely to be fascist. 

Since absence of conscience is a cardinal sign of psychopathy in the individual or the collective -- fascism is that which systematically promotes psychopathy amongst a people, obviously with a definite political roadmap. 


Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Dr Mukul Pai Raiturkar

Dr Mukul R Pai Raiturkar is a consultant pediatrician & neonatologist practicing in Margao. He is the co-convener of Ami Goenkar, an organisation of secular young Goans working towards a novel approach to religious-political issues of Goa. Son of veteran Goan freedom fighter Mr Ravindranath Pai Raiturkar, he exudes unshakable faith in a liberal, secular and free spirited democracy of India.


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