Friday, July 24, 2009

Discipline & Punish - Sach Ka Saamna

There was a chap called Foucault.
Who analyzed the 'gaze' and the power games the world employs... in prisons, hospitals, yahan tak ke, on 'sex'.

And as we gaze at this program... slightly repelled, quite hypnotized, very irritated... going by all the blogs & media erupted discussions, two stories come up again and again - Kambli : and his belief Sachin did not do enough for him; and some poor woman called Smita Mathai (Rashmi, have taken her name from your blog) whose reply on infidelity shoved her out of the program, it seems. And into conversations in trains & buses, and canteens & kitty parties.

And Foucault would have asked us to question this :
How come the show had the woman being put in the awkward seat and not the man?
How come Sachin was not the one who was asked the awkward questions? (Who knows what he thinks in private about Kambli).

But you see, it is the non-dominant getting back & rebelling inside the mind that is news.

AND : This speaks of the deep power relations that exist structuring our society....
Women, you shall always be lorded over. So you better be forever on the defensive...

Kambli : you were and shall always remain - a wannabe. In the modern world, we do not want to be called casteists, na... but hey, you better know your place.

THAT is what the show is about... Keeping society firmly in its place.

In a twitterized world, with everything in a jiffy, where everyone attempts to break free - the truth is this :
we (the power that quietly runs society) shall colonize your minds.

1984 is here. The Orwellian 1984.
Where we now live in a totalitarian future society.

postscript : Santosh Desai's take on SKS, published today : 27 July, is absolutely brilliant .

Excerpts :

The show is not interested in the truth but specifically seeks that truth which will cause damage to the individual's self esteem and poison relationships. It is a spectacle only when participants disclose something scandalous. The reason why the family is such an important part of the show is because in some ways it is the show. We have in effect created a market for preying on someone else's personal misery.

The commoditization of truth is part of an overall movement towards taking all that constitutes the personal and private and giving it exchange value in order to make it marketable. We can make money on the basis of our looks, education, ability, luck, our willingness to do stupid things and our openness to making our private life public. Everything has exchange value; we can monetize all parts of our life

We become consumers of ourselves as we turn our insides out for the consumption of the outside world. In effect society turns cannibalistic as it feeds on itself and its most cherished institutions.

Relationships are not based on absolute honesty. Given the way society has been constructed, they cannot be. In fact they are based on the opposite- they need others to be insulated from all of an individual's real feelings. It is revealing that almost all viewers who recoil at the show and vow never to take part do so not because they have nothing to hide but because they do and are smart enough not to hurt their loved ones with the truth. This is not limited to a few of us, but is close to being a universal truth.

In the guise of modernity it takes us back to the primitive, as we take pleasure in a new and refined form of an ancient bloodsport.

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