Today someone who is an absolute darling of the post-socialist oligarchy in Kerala and their army of hanger-ons told me, without a tinge of irony, with the most endearing innocence, that they were not celebrated at all in Kerala. That they were excluded from circles that praised and glorified the work of many other authors. It was most intriguing, to say the least. I think it reveals a lot about how the present dispensation manages intellectuals and minimises critical thinking.
You can be a rebel without any serious losses in present-day Kerala if you desist from any serious criticism of the establishment and its acolytes. You can spout feminism, dalit politics, espousals of the solidarity economy, liberal Muslim thought, queer thinking, soft Hindutva– literally anything except Islamism if you keep your mouth shut about the establishment and the post-socialist oligarchy, or at least limit yourself to weak, occasional noises. You can also present yourself in combinations of the above laced with hints of your slant towards the establishment and reap much success in classrooms and academic fora, and much applause on the social media. If you have connections with the Nair deep state and ‘deep intellectual elite’, you can pornify, sell, any kind of abuse of women.Continue reading Turning a Blind Eye: Power and the Intellectual in Kerala Today