Sat. Sep 21st, 2019

Our multiple identities and divides


A.M. Khan


 There are people living here around with their own identities. The socio-cultural, religious and global identities and divides which encounter with the ethics of globalism on the one hand and tribalism on the other. It has increasingly been highlighted that moral grounds of decision(s) have faded, now globally and seen in local contexts also.

The populism in geo-politics has its own dynamics of attracting public attention for ‘appealing’ demands, and wishes of the people realized politically. The electoral politics, globally, couched in nationalism in US, EU and South Asia has given a political edge to the political leaders to win power on those policies which turn identities into divides.

The politics of power, as local and global dynamism impact it and determine, has its own patterns making the things to happen in a particular setting. It can easily be seen that how local appeals are determined by political will in societies where people have their own political demands from their leaders; and mandating parties or institution (s) to run the machinery of administration the way what were demanded for. There the societies, how developed and conscious of identity (crisis), determine where the tribalism makes its presence in our midst, and to highlight identities. It is, however, a line which has to be drawn whether the identity, even furnishes into power, does qualify to be sensitive of tribalism against globalism or vice-versa.

For collective thinking and being important is a way forward to accept pluralistic view of world which celebrates comforting identities. Some countries, and leaders, have come to power couched in nationalistic appeals to float in both waters of globalism and de-globalized enterprises have transformed much needed global worldview into an aching direction.

There were, and are, tribal dynamics which have determined decisions, rule and nature of power politics, and get their mileage from those patterns which either test to preserve their precinct identities or barely accommodating divides.  The policy of assimilation, however, has widely been critiqued for its challenge to multiple identities and its reinforcement into monolithic imaging overemphasizing the cause of greater unity within, and outside.

There are people, around the world, have their own history, culture, beliefs and identities which they keep, and being remembered on the backdrop of the nature of response they pose to a natural and social impacts. It is but for their survival of identity,  may unusually be peculiar, they sustain it.

Every individual writes one’s own history. The crisis of identity(ies), a major fallout, where there it starts, with the course of time, may turn into divides; and vice-versa. It depends on the nature and extent of purpose, policy targets at state level, whether social or political; and its application in a socio-political and cultural setting. Keeping the context protected, from negative fallouts, is a major challenge which needs continual tracking on trail what had been targeted for common weal.

The necessity, in case we are deeply obsessed with our personal identities, is not letting them to harm our co-existence in the age of globalism. There, no doubt, are multiple identities of individuals and entities, and there are histories and living ethics of different communities, should be respected, preserved and promoted but not on the expense of embolden divides. The societies, led by socially conscious leaders, one way or the other, may help building coordinated efforts from collective consent against the backdrop of individualistic tendencies, in social context, for the realization of our social ecosystem and harmony. It may help to build knowledge societies for better knowledge economy, reconstructing local knowledge into productive capacities and skills required for developing conditions. Our worldview, with respect to identities and divides, changes when societies bring indigenous knowledge and wisdom in line with science of 21st century skills and market demands. Time, in this age, is something most precious commodity one can sacrifice for collective thinking of making societal arrangements and setups stronger than individualistic tendencies in our social settings to think globally against tribalism locally.

The writer is a researcher based in Chitral.
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