Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Politically, yours

In the past, I have not taken people calling themselves apolitical seriously. As much as I understood the privilege of it, I sought an apologist justification. I argued that people cannot exist on political opinions, that politics is always personal. I have dated men who cringed at feminism. I thought my politic could exist outside my relationship, right? As long as I am not ’personally’ affected by it. 3 decades of existence later, I now see apolitical does not exist—looking away does. 

The latter will also be the NICEST people you come across. They’d be the ones feeding the strays, reading about all that’s wrong with the world, living with an air of dejection about everything. They will be apolitical about a genocide and post about a temple built on the graveyards of their own. If your knowing things provokes no action despite the resources at your disposal, being ignorant at least saves face. Knowledge is not natural oil, friends. It’s not for preservation. 

The times we live in has changed everything for me. It’s changed what brand of groceries I consume to what I choose to wear. It’s made me look at conscious living not through the performative “save the planet” lens, but analysing it deeper than veganism. 

Now “nice” irks me. It has come to represent people saying “violence is not the answer” to a genocide; it’s those who only post as per their brand but celebrate temples; it’s not finding the mirror when we talk about an occupation and Kashmir; ‘nice’ is social reputation, it is a performance. It is a ploy, a facade to make you “like” people and not even the right kind. 

What way to live, ew. 

 The ebb and flow of these times is saving you and me wasted efforts. The moment a date says ‘both sides’ or plays devil’s advocate, they’re the devil him/herself, genocide isn’t a point of view; they’re not neutral, they just won’t be on your side till it concerns them. And when it does, you would not ever be on their mind; “friends” whose silence has shown me they’ll do nothing if it was me instead; when talking about a genocide is controversial; it’s making this world as black and as white as it could have possibly be. That change gives me hope that may be, just may be the world might become a better place.

 I am living to see politics change from a boring structure of politicians to a personal ideology—which is pretty scary considering who we are consensually voting to power. 

It is living out a dystopian dream. 

 Im living to see how my body no longer sits in spaces where celebration is not met with the understanding of the privilege of being part of it. It is culling out people at their passivity. It is showing me the bigotry of liberals. It is proving how misery is codependent—if I’m miserable with his sexism I’m bound to be miserable with his casteism (it WILL show up sooner or later). I see clearly those who give wild speeches but are just actors with lines for momentum. What excites me is that I’ll perhaps not be confused about intent. Articulation won’t win me over. I’ll actually know how people think, if not immediately then within a short span of time. 

 To put in Instagram terms: Shadow Bans are a way of life now. Life is a process of shadow bans. If they don’t talk about Palestine, they’re archived on WA. Neutral are not welcome either. Nor are people who find talking about the murder of people ‘controversial’.

 I cannot fathom the liberation domino effect Palestine has single handedly begun. It has shown more than that apolitical is a lie. 

 More than all of it, is that I have seen my nationalism evolve. It’s no more a colour, a person or just some borders. It is now about ownership, it is the safety to co-exist without being scared of having repercussions on my accident of birth. My nationalism does not look at which god you worship, it is rooted in the history of sacrifices and and ethics of Baba Ambedkar. Nationalism now urges me to have great pride in what we, as a country came together to fight for. It makes my eyes water to think of the sacrifices made by the common people—my ancestors whose names perhaps we will never know. People who never did it for the fame but for the right to live on their land and to live with pride. 

 It is perhaps a love that will now look away from malls but at the small businesses. It makes me want to throw spotlight on brands started by my people, it makes me believe that ‘international’ does not hold the value than the weaves put together by the hand of my people. My nationalism is taking me back to my roots. It is showing me what community is. I am slowly realising what its etymology is. 

And if this deep love is not what political looks like,  I will define it on my own, like my people once did. 

Prapti B Elizabeth
Prapti B Elizabeth
Prapti B Elizabeth is an individual leaning into the realisation that this life isn’t enough to do some memorable damage.
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