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episode #6


If there are twin pylons on which our democratic deformities today seem to stand, they are identity and indifference. Democracies wage war in the name of the former, but for all the rhetoric surrounding “culture wars”, they do so rarely ever in plain sight. Rather, an uncontrolled war rages on today in silence: by making majoritarian identities disappear into the structure of the ‘normative’ and by rallying masses and movements behind a sanctioned regime of pervasive indifference. An indifference that ironically rests on a profound interest: an active interest in the disregard, in the destruction even, of that in which one has no interest. And it is in the figure of the migrant — who takes to the high seas and the baked roads in a journey of depthless peril and unbearable heat — that we see the apotheosis of this indifferent interest worldwide. If indifference itself has become the binding agent of identity, can identity save our democratic covenant? Or does democracy today demand a new language of solidarity beyond all existing claims of identity made upon it by nationalism, by religion, by race, by caste? Why, after all, do we depend so much on those identities that never cease to leave us morally hamstrung?

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