Sunday, July 14, 2024

Understanding Decolonisation

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Understanding decolonisation is necessary to shed the baggage of colonial mentality that centuries of colonial rule had exerted upon Indians

Colonialism and imperialism today is a matter of academic speculation and exercise.

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With the advent of globalization it is being considered that there is nothing called colonialism or colonial mentality.

But nothing could not have been further from the truth. Colonialism and colonial, despite being long gone is still alive in its remnants.

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Yes, you heard it right, it still is the reality of 21st century ultra modern India or many may say Bharat.

What is a Colonised Mind?

In the annals of social sciences, a colonised mind is the buzzword.

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While there are varying interpretations, I think a colonised mind is a mind or perceptual understanding of the world that is conditioned by colonial era beliefs.

You might wonder, what are its features-

The first feature of a colonised mind is the strong contempt for everything indigenous- from high intellectual concepts like philosophy, ethics, spirituality, epistemology to food, clothes etc.

Second feature is love and reverence for foreign things-predominantly western.  This is evident from the functioning of the Indian Civil Service officers during the British Raj.

They were concerned mainly with the maintenance of law and order and collection of revenue, they did not have iota of concern for the masses.

Third feature is- a feeling of inferiority vis-a-vis the colonial civilization.

This manifests in rejection of the glorious tradition of a country’s past and reveling, at the same time, the achievements of the colonial master.

Decolonizing the Mind

Decolonization means removing the mind the parts and portions of colonial thought.

This was highlighted succinctly in J Sai Deepak’s India That is Bharat bestselling book.

Decolonizing the mind will require reorienting the country’s education system to appreciate the achievements of the past.

It will require the academic exercise of rewriting history to deglorify the invaders, be it Islamic or European who brought this colonial mentality with them.

Decolonization will require overhauling the country’s legal system, epistemic foundations, intellectual discourse and even our mundane choices of food and clothing.

Understanding decolonization and implementing it will require an enormously strong mindset of our policymakers and masses along institutional solidarity.

 

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