Ajay Gudavarthy, in his recent book, Politics, Ethics and Emotions in ‘New India’ attempts to unpack the moral, ethical, and emotive questions that may help one understand the rise of the political right in India.
Deepanshu Mohan, Associate Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for New Economics Studies (CNES), Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
“The real challenge in recognising, realising, and endorsing place of emotions is how they do not become templates for righteous lawlessness and majoritarianism…Emotive majority today is an undeniable reality in most of the world, but the consequences and the way they can be nudged towards compassionate cohabitation is still an open question.”
With these words, political theorist Ajay Gudavarthy, in his recent book, Politics, Ethics and Emotions in ‘New India’ attempts to unpack the moral, ethical, and emotive questions that may help one understand the rise of the political right in India.
These questions may also interest us in the current global context of the rise of rightwing conservatism, while studying how people cutting across castes and classes perceive the rightwing construct.
Using a bio-political normative lens, the author puts forward a critical question in the book: “How do we remobilise and occupy ethics and emotions that are not majoritarian, ethics that do not eschew responsibility, and emotions that do not produce a valorised self?”
According to Gudavarthy, this may be particularly relevant in the context of the contemporary political space and the everyday ethics of being in India, when, the Bharatiya Janata Party, under Narendra Modi-Amit Shah, is “justifiably mobilising emotions and striking a chord with a majority, but that is necessarily illiberal in nature and producing ethics that are blatantly majoritarian”.
Published in: The Wire
To read the full article, please click here.