हम इतिहास के निरंतर निषेध


जनाजर का ज्वर अचानक
ज्वार बनकर फूटता
हर सदी इतिहास का
दीवार है जो टूटता

मैं गिरा हूँ मत उठाओ
मैं खुद उठूँगा और चला जाऊँगा
अपनी दयाभरी आँखों से मत देखो
वो रोकती हैं मुझे मैं होने से
मुझे अपनी तरह उठने और चलने से
ऐसा क्या है क्या तुम कभी गिरे नहीं
गिर कर उठे नहीं उठ कर चले नहीं
तमाशा मत बनाओ मेरे गिरने का
कि ऐसा ही मैं रह जाऊँ
सभी मुझे मेरे मैं से छीनते
हमेशा के लिए मैं दया का पात्र बन जाऊँ

मुझे अपनी लड़ाई खुद लड़ने दो
और तुम क्यों दोगे मैं लड़ूंगा
और लड़ता भी हूँ
तुम अपनी लड़ाई लड़ो
तभी यह हमारी लड़ाई होगी
तब नहीं जब तुम हमारे लिए लड़ते
शहीदों के लिस्ट में तुम्हारा नाम
दूसरों के लिए मर गए तुम कितने महान
और हम हमारी औकात ही क्या
अपनी रोज़ की लड़ाई के नीचे दब गए
उठ न पाए हम बेचारे
रह गए सड़क के किनारे

और तुम पथप्रदर्शक अधिनायक
हम जन तुम जननायक
हम भेड़ तुम गड़ेरिया
हम गाएँ तुम कन्हैया
लो हुए हम नाव अब तुम खेवैया
खेते खेते बन गए तुम जनक
तो हम हुए जनित तुम्हारे हल के नोंक से
सीता तुम राम
हम सुदामा तुम घनश्याम
हम द्रौपदी
हमारी लाज हो तुम
तुम आसमान में सूर्य
हम तुम्हारी असंख्य किरणें
हम माया हैं तुम्हारी छाया हैं
तुम्हारी विविधताओं के प्रदर्शन हेतु
परिपेक्ष हैं
स्थूल हैं
तुम्हारे चरणों की धूल हैं
फूल हैं

इतिहास में तुम्हारा ही नाम रहेगा
हम अगणित अदृश्य
चाहे कह दो इतिहास हमारा
जिसके नायक तुम्हीं हो
तुम्हीं रहोगे

परंतु तुम जड़ हममें जड़ित
सारी उपमाएँ हमसे फलित
इतिहास गाते रहो डुगडुगी बजाते रहो
इतिहास की गौरव गाथा तुम्हारे लिए है
इंसान का गौरव इसी में है
कि हम सारे गर्व को मिटाते रहे हैं
इतिहास हमें नही हमें आज चाहिए
हमें सुराज नहीं
हमें सु-अराज, स्वराज चाहिए
न राज्य न आसीन राजा
न दंड न कोई दांडिक
हम आदि अंकुर सतयुग से
इतिहास के निरंतर निषेध हैं

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On the generalisation of reactionary politics


1. When we talk about reactionary politics, it is always in contrast to “progressive” politics. So this is about a contest, a competition, where purportedly progressive energy within the system can be mobilised to tame reaction. Evidently, this duel is a sort of Newtonian mechanics of action and reaction, which stabilises the system, the machine. Till recently, the contrast between these two poles of politics was stark and a distinct progressivist political programme could really be charted out.

2. However, in recent times, the machinic and intrinsic fatalism of state and polity, about which Marxists have always talked, but very few of them have been able to make this critique a consistent ground of their politics and analysis, has gripped the societal energy into the mire of barbaric inertia. No political breakthrough is visible on the horizon. Hence, it is time when we must stop talking about reactionary politics, and start talking about reaction as the general condition of politics – about the reactionary political structure or reactionary polity. The digits in which the “contest” is taking place are themselves reactionary. Reaction which was the result has become the means of politics. Reactionary polity with its discourse of reactivity is what binds left, right and centre together to (re)form itself. We are simply responding to the systemic machinery. The machinic system has realised itself in its fullness – this constitutes the polity itself.

3. The Asimovian utopia or rather dystopia has been realised – humanics and robotics have been integrated. Our general intellect alienated from us has gained a full life-form and we have been robotised.

“As soon as humanity in the abstract is introduced, the Laws of Robotics begin to merge with the Laws of Humanics.”

“Since emotions are few and reasons are many, the behavior of a crowd can be more easily predicted than the behavior of one person can.”

The machine has reduced us to a mere crowd with a few emotions, hence predictable and manageable. Our innumerable grievances are summarised into a set of emotive reactions.

(To be continued)

the new real


the new real

Media, gossip and rumours


Inspector Montalbano has a communist friend, Niccolo Zito, who helps him reveal the levels of determinations behind a death by disrupting its unproblematic nature with his discussions about its circumstances. His interventions are highly intellectual. In the very first novel in this series, The Shape of Water, Zito, who is a critical media man, provides a very pertinent lesson on the function of media, and the disruptive role of rumours. This is particularly crucial for our age when media led by social media has become a technology to morph a news into a gossip. Here, we must underline the hush-hush nature of rumours, which is very different from the chirpiness of gossip, that we find in social media and the internet world.

“The quickest way to make people forget a scandal is to talk about it as much as possible, on television, in the papers, and so on. Over and over you flog the same dead horse, and pretty soon people start getting fed up. “They’re really dragging this out!” they say. “Haven’t we had enough?” After a couple of weeks the saturation effect is such that nobody wants to hear another word about that scandal…. If on the other hand, you hush everything up, the silence itself starts to talk, rumours begin to multiply out of control until you can’t stop them any more.(114-115)

आज़ादी अगस्त 2019


भूमिका

घाटियों में धुंध से छनकर सबेरे धूप आई
अलस मन में नए दिन की आस अब लो जगमगाई
बाण चौखट पर गिरे हैं क्या नया है
रात सत्ता की उसी का सिर फिरा है
फिर कोई जागी है नीचे ज़िद नई
फरमान से ही क्या हिमाला जीत लेगी

1)

जो दीवार खड़ी थी वो ढह गई
हमें लगता था यहीं हिफाज़त है
रेत की थी हल्की बारिश में बह गई

वो समझते थे कि हम नंगे हैं
हम समझते थे कि हम नंगे हैं
मगर पर्दा हटा तो सच निकला

वही पर्दा था जो कपड़ा था
हमने ओढ़ा तुमने ओढ़ा था
वो कपड़ा काफ़ी चौड़ा था

वो अब पूरा जल गया
हम तुम्हारे सामने हैं
तुम हमारे सामने हो

2)

तुमने गुलदस्ते
से निकाल फेंका हमें
कि काँटे निकल आए थे
अच्छा ही है अब
आज़ाद हैं हम
जहाँ फेंका वहीं उगेंगे
और फैलते चले जाएंगे

3)

कागज़ों के बीच था सोता रहा सपना हमारा
अच्छा किया झाड़ा उन्हें फुर्र उड़ा सपना हमारा

4)

क्या कहूँ क्या चल रहा है
वक्त अब बस टल रहा है
हवा बदले वो कब बदले
अब बदले कि तब बदले
यही अब इंतज़ार चल रहा है

5)

संभावनाओं का सिमटना संभावनाएँ ख़त्म होना नहीं है
भविष्य साफ़ दिखना भी है और वही है
संभावनाओं के अंतहीन चक्रव्यूह में फंसकर
हमने संभावनाएँ ही टटोली सच्चाई से हमारा रिश्ता
बिरहन के गीत सा हो गया हम दर्द के नशे में झूमते रहे
हज़ारों रास्ते खुले हैं कि एक रास्ता नहीं मिलता
रास्ते अख्तियार करने की आज़ादी कोई आज़ादी नहीं है
अगर हमें पता ही न हो कहाँ जाना तो जाना कहाँ है
कोशिश की संभलने की तो हमने आत्मत्याग किया
हमने खुद को तुम्हारे या खुदा के हवाले किया
अच्छा ही है आज हम दीवार के रूबरू खड़े हैं
न पीछे मुड़ने की उम्मीद न आगे कोई रास्ता दिखे

6)

तुम्हारी दुर्दशा तुम्हारी ही नहीं है अपनी वेदना में
इतने मत बहो कि तुम्हारी लड़ाई का मतलब
तुमसे दूर हो जाए इतिहास के भार ने तुम्हें
बांध रखा था तुम्हारे सपने को वो लगाम थी
तुम्हे समय समय पर उड़ान भरते देखना
किसे नहीं भाता और दूसरों को ललचाना
बताना कितने आज़ाद हो तुम अपने बंधन में
तुम बताओ किसकी दशा ऐसी नहीं है

7)

मानचित्र में वो जगह तुम्हें खोजनी है
उन्हें नहीं जो वहाँ जीते हैं
सीमाएँ तुम्हारे दिल में हैं
उनके लिए कदम कदम फौज़ है
अपना रोज़ गुज़ारना है उन्हें
अपने हिसाब से गुज़ारें
यही उम्मीद थी उनकी
तुमने सीमाओं में बाँधा उन्हें
अपने आपको
फिर कहा माँगो
तो भला क्या माँगे
सीमाएँ ही तो
जो सीमित करेंगी तुम्हारे दायरे

just an echo – a poem


Just an echo

Reinventing the Underground


1. In one of his tales, “Unintentional Stroke of Luck”, Alexander Kluge narrates the story of a young fighter pilot of the US Air Force who was going to target a wedding celebration suspecting it to be the headquarters of a terrorist gang. But due to “a convulsive evacuation of the pilot’s bowels”, “intestinal spasm” that generated shame and confusion in his mind, the target was missed and “the missiles struck the swampy fields.” In the “age of asymmetrical warfare”, it is this unintentional luck which is “at least one possibility open, when all other luck fails.”

2. In an interview quoted by Devin Fiore in his Introduction to Negt and Kluge’s History and Obstinacy, Kluge explains, “If intestinal colic prevents the bomber pilot from propagating death in Iraq then his intestines were smarter than his head. And that the intestines do this dates back to a previous time. If the intestines’ ability to anticipate is greater than the head’s foresight — which is also artificially deadened again and again through education — then the intestines were the prophet. It concerns a reason that is underneath reason. That is the core issue.”(159)

3. It is strange that even self-professing hardcore materialists confuse the contingent with psycho-subjective factors, while reducing the objective to crude necessity. However, atoms of events like any atom are composed of nuclei and binding electrons. The matter of necessity is the nucleus, which is forever bound and negated by the electron-ic, giving shape to the contingent. Hence, our materialists would always consider the pilot – the psychic element to be the subjective and contingent factor. But in this story and in Kluge’s self-explanation, it is the corporeo-human element, i.e., “intestinal colic” which is “smarter” countering the necessary tendencies of “the age of asymmetrical warfare.” The objectification of our “head’s foresight” into general intellect – the machine paralyzing the psycho-human subject, forces our body to strike back. As Epicurus would have said, with whom Marx concurred, atoms do fall, but swerve. It is how the realm of “abstract possibilities” invades that of “actual possibilities”.

4. Spectacular political gymnastics – in which all of us are involved, left, right and centre – is a mere sign of anal expulsive personality that bourgeois liberalism and consumerist economy perpetuate – it is our instrumentalisation. The revolution in information technology has been mobilised to intensify and productivise this anal expulsiveness – you can see how the best minds of counterculture and radical thinking have been formally, if not actually, subsumed in this new enterprise through diverse corporate enclosures of the virtual space.

5. “The smaller a town the more richly it hums with gossip. There are no private affairs here. Gossip is the air we breathe.” (Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians) With technology, the whole world has become one segmented village, even serious thinkers and radicals inhale and exhale this air – gossiping about thoughts, ideas and politics.

6. Negative prefiguration in the form of communist solidarity practices is on “seeing” each other – with hugs, kisses and arms holding (“comrades-in-arms”), but now in the age of instantaneous “viewing”, solidarity is virtual and symbolic, it is reduced to emoticons and thumb signing (“you are doing good, keep it up”). But when we ultimately see each other we recognise and that’s all – virtuality has become our ideological reality in which we closet ourselves.(see Asimov’s The Naked Sun)

7. This public sphere of new media has transformed our reproductive domain to a factory – of bit production where variable capital is almost zero. Ideas and ideologies are discretized, reduced to bits, which are automatically recombined to produce newer ones.

8. Walter Benjamin once said that the fascist political forms are the heightening of cacophonous expulsiveness to politically salvage capitalism from itself. The crisis in embedded liberalism and the rise of neoliberalism in the age of information revolution led to the algorithmization and essentialization of these forms to defer the capitalist collapse.

9. Another German, Heiner Müller records, “Mao Tse-Tung once said that as long as National Socialism was on the attack, it was unbeatable. It was an attack in a void, in empty space, a pure movement, without reserves. The moment the attack ground to a halt outside Moscow, it was over. The first stop was already the last.” Politics is about preparing for that “moment.” Our task today is to prepare ourselves for the time when the dark forces start having “intestinal spasm”.

10. In a different context, young Marx had identified the devil’s blind spots and their revolutionary significance. In his letters to Arnold Ruge written in 1843, he posed the possibility of systemic implosion:

“The comedy of despotism that is being played out with us is just as dangerous for him, as the tragedy once was for the Stuarts and Bourbons. And even if for a long time this comedy were not to be looked upon as the thing it actually is, it would still amount to a revolution. The state is too serious a thing to be turned into a kind of harlequinade. A ship full of fools could perhaps be allowed to drift for quite a time at the mercy of the wind, but it would be driven to meet its fate precisely because the fools would not believe this. This fate is the impending revolution.”

11. It is high time that we recognise that neoliberal capitalism perpetuates hyper-individualism and subjectivism, while putting them to a perpetual crisis too; and, stop open defecation that this leads to. We must return to the notion of the old mole on a look out for the “underneath reason”. What is needed today is to relive the “underground”, not to “repeat it” as it used to be, but to think, as Lenin commanded, “how to change its forms in a new situation, how to learn and think anew for this purpose.”