India under attack: Is Andolan Jeevi a Foreign Destructive Ideology?

The writer Prof Shazia Cheema is an analyst writing for national and international media outlets including Pakistan Observer, Eurasia Diary, InSight, and Mina News Agency. She heads the Thought Center of Dispatch News Desk (DND). She did her MA in Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University Denmark and is currently registered as a Ph.D. Scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague. She can be reached at her: Twitter @ShaziaAnwerCh Email: shaziaanwer@yahoo.com

By Prof Shazia Cheema

Research says that “The self-concept is a knowledge representation that contains knowledge about us, including our beliefs about our personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles, as well as the knowledge that we exist as individuals.

Throughout childhood and adolescence, the self-concept becomes more abstract and complex and is organized into a variety of different cognitive aspects of the self, known as self-schemas. Children have self-schemas about their progress in school, their appearance, their skills at sports and other activities, and many other aspects. In turn, these self-schemas direct and inform their processing of self-relevant information (Harter, 1999), much as we saw schemas, in general, affecting our social cognition”.

Primitive societies or social setup required leadership, which can defend the self-identity of that society and its members.

This raises the question that why and how people “invest themselves” in personal, professional, social, or cultural identity? I think identity provides the core idea of self and self-existence in a particular socio-cultural environment. Identification, who you belong to, and where you belong to is crucial for social evolution.

South Asians are always proud to identify themselves as the ancient civilization, as having unique and distinct cultural/social values. Unfortunately, one of the South Asian countries (India) is being targeted by its leadership for having a “Destructive Foreign Identity”.

Self-identity critically linked to the sense of ownership and belonging which create a self-assured and secure perception about human in a social phenomenon. “I am Pakistani” gives me the satisfaction that I belong to something. If this core concept has been snatched from me the first thing, I will suffer from will be who am I? if I am not what has been carved inside my innermost schemas so how I am going to reconstruct or replace it? Cognitively it is immensely difficult so with the idea of self I will evade the ultimate confidence gained unconsciously through embodied experiences.

Primitive societies or social setup required leadership, which can defend the self-identity of that society and its members. History has extensive examples of how it has been done from time to time, even now in this so-called unipolar society, homo-sapiens are still identified by their certain identity cues, race, color, language, country, etc.

Modi coined the term Andolan Jeevi, the dictionary meaning of andolan is revolution and jeevi is the human being. He claimed that Indian identity had been corrupted by foreign identity

South Asians are always proud to identify themselves as the ancient civilization, as having unique and distinct cultural/social values. Unfortunately, one of the South Asian countries (India) is being targeted by its leadership for having a “Foreign Destructive Ideology”.

Does Modi government has over 160 years to inject confusion into indigenous people that they are “foreigners” in their own land?
Can the Modi government survive for over 160 years to inject confusion into indigenous people that they are “foreigners” in their own land?

Indian Prime minister Narender Modi in his February 9, 2021 speech in the parliament said India needs to be aware of a new FDI prevalent today which is the Foreign Destructive Ideology. Asserting India needs to be cautioned against venomous influences from abroad: “There is also a new FDI which is seen today, that is the Foreign Destructive Ideology. We need to be aware of this. “Indian Prime Minister Modi further said a new community ‘Andolan jeevi’ (one who thrives on protests) has come up in the country, adding they can be spotted everywhere and are parasites for India.

Indian farmers are peacefully protesting, peacefully for their fellow citizens but for farmers—it is no less horrific than the French revolution

Modi coined the term Andolan Jeevi (andolanjeevi), the dictionary meaning of andolan is revolution and jeevi is the human being. He claimed that Indian identity had been corrupted by foreign identity and that is destructive plus all those who adhere to that identity comes under an umbrella term” revolutionaries.” Indian PM Modi was referring towards the Farmers Protest, which has now become a nation-wide movement and of course out of control for Modi government Sarkar. The irony of the situation is that protestors are protesting for their self-identity, their individuality which they consider worth dying for, however their leadership instead of acknowledging the fact tagging their same precious identity as alien and destructive.

It is about four months now, Indian farmers are peacefully protesting, peacefully for their fellow citizens but for farmers—it is no less horrific than the French revolution. They are out of their homes, their fields, living in open, surviving frigid cold, and surviving on self-help. Their livelihoods have been tarnished and their future is uncertain and now they have received the title of “foreign and destructive” by their leadership.

The current Indian government must realize that Andolan Jeevi (andolanjeevi) is not a separate species or a separate breed of the same species, it is a need-based phenomenon. The idea of self is so deeply ingrained in our cognitive system that it cannot be erased. And if PM Modi is concerned about the mushroom growth of protestors in every corner of the country and every sphere of life then he must stop targeting the self-identity of Indians by his ruthless inhumane policies. All this agitation is a survival mechanism.

Related Link: Watch video of Mahua Moitra demanding justice for protesting farmers in Lok Sabha

Indians are fearful that corporates can hijack their ancient valued and cherished identity. They are not ready to give it up as easily as Modi Sarkar and its corporate allies must have wished for.

Can the Modi government survive for over 160 years to inject confusion into indigenous people that they are “foreigners” in their own land?

Here is a question that is actually self-explanatory. Who is foreign and destructive? Those who are exploiting humanity through their corporate system having a foreign share of multinational chains or indigenous Indian farmers?

The current Indian situation seems like a farce where people are fighting for their existence and leadership is denying it by claiming that their struggle is “foreign” and does not belong to India. Modi believes that revolutionaries should go somewhere else.

Does Indian leadership intend to create an identity crisis among its citizens, if yes then what it is going to achieve from it? Is it connected to the same wave of infamous “citizen bill”? Where this question of who you are and where you belong got triggered and still creating massive chaos across India. Why in modern-day India, it is so important to prove your identity? What went wrong? Why people are being cruelly divided between us vs them. And who is us and who are them? They are all Indian, scared, agitated, and on fight mode just because their self-identity is being questioned, not only questioned but tagged as alien and destructive. Why Indians are destructive for their own country why they are alien in their homeland. Why they are being mocked as andolan jeevi.

I agree with Mahua Moitra Member of the Indian Parliament that when the government is coward and has resources, it gets started using it on its population. I will just add alongside coward two more words, that will be insensitive and stupidly assertive.

According to Swann Jr., William B. Bosson, Jennifer K in “Identity negotiation: A theory of self and social interaction”, people encounter identity-discrepant evaluations or are compelled to behave in identity-discrepant ways, they may “see” the experience as offering more support for their identity than it actually does.

This above-mentioned theory indicates that the Indian population would not withdraw their indigenous identity under the pressure of Modi Sarkar rather it would surely contest for protecting its identity. This human response would more aggravate the situation in India.

Bernd Simon and Roman Trötschel in “Self and Social Identity” indicate that the self-concept and related self-knowledge can be viewed as a pattern of recurring cognitive activities such as processing of self-related information or stimulation received from one’s social environment.  This also makes the cultural impact on self and identity possible.

If the Indian government plans to give cultural shocks to crack its population like of dividing into several religious groups, caste-based groups, social belief-based groups, then it (government) should remember that history testifies that it takes at least over three generations of any group/individual to withdraw from cultural assets and instinct to retain social traits continues to help humans to survive against extreme subjugation while protecting one’s identity.

Can the Modi government survive for over 160 years to inject confusion into indigenous people that they are “foreigners” in their own land?