The West normally would perceive that the south Asian societies were so rigid and stagnant societies that actors hardly had any role to play. Structures are so frozen that its past revisits its present, time and again that makes social change non -linear. However, with the sudden emergence of the post truth that the real politick lies not on political ideologies, but on maneuvering market rationale and its bargaining competence.
Since the advent of new century, the dismantling of old notions and is conventional world view has taken the world by surprise. Politics of identity is the key to the access to power and power means financial stability. It is equally true that the fast changing world for the last here decades has made the comprehension of this world altogether different what we perceived centuries together. Since the time of living in the caves to the citizenry of a nation state, the belongingness was conceived through boundaries, a geographical concept. The borders would signal the cultural zone and external insurrections had to be accommodated within this zone of familiarity to give mutual language and code of conduct to the interactions. This has happened till the recent past.
With the globalization and social networking amidst the wave of migrations from one locale to the other unfamiliar zone, the world has virtually become a multicultural, diverse society with market as instrument of homogenization. The notion of a community based on geography has first time become meaningless. There is a need for a new boundary to find the meaning. The resurgence for that notional identity that could live in marked boundaries does not fill missing links of the primordial loyalties. It is a distinctive dicey matter.
Boundaries have eclipsed; there is search for the new boundaries. The West along with the other affluent countries, which have financial security of their subjects, could wean religion in playing with identity politics. These countries inherently play on the notion of race and common history rather than religion, unlike the South Asian societies where religion convergence with politics is on surface. Organic Religion in theist is on decline, but political religion is a silent force to invoke the race consciousness that makes the binaries marked. However, in the south Asian countries, subjects are poor; the state is unable to spend on welfare projects, the public politics breeds on notional past and primordial loyalties, which never did practically exist.
The emergence of new leadership in the subcontinent reveals this assertive politics from supposed-to-be-the-honest cult leaders. Modi and Imran Khan’s rise as charismatic political actors, who could transform the lives of millions emerged on that notional pure past and meaningless present that gives silent support to the organic religion. In deepening crisis of corruption and same old leadership, the people desired alternate politics. The new experiment with honest, passionate and assertive leadership suits to the south Asian psyche. There is no doubt that both these leaders want a departure from that presumed past, but the impediments to their project is their own structural impediments that keeps them apart from joining the hands to change the lot of suffered people.
Prime Minister Modi was first to energize Indian Diaspora in USA. In a subdued mode playing to his social background through hugs and nativity, he developed his personal bonds with the US leaders. Prime Minister Imran Khan on the other hand, with his Western etiquette and manners, with intentional physical distances could cultivate the US leadership on his own terms that too with his native dress and Pathan pride, unlike previous leadership of Pakistan. What does this portray?
It reveals that you need a communicative leadership with the understanding of other cultures and the interests of the countries you are interacting with. The interests are the strategic and financial that belong g to this fluid world and not the world after it. If religious meddling in public sphere compliments it, it would be accepted. In case it is an impediment, it would be firmed. The fluidity of disposition has shown us that if the diehard admirers in India had perceived that Pakistan was isolated in US, not before long. It has abruptly evaporated.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s constituency in Pakistan can easily boast that Pakistan was embraced by US leadership. The illusions of fluidity are over. What the West has captured from the emergent leadership of the subcontinent is that that the south Asian leadership wants break with the past, a future of life chances and access to resources for their subjects. Peace, trade and market rationale are the post truths of this era. Religion’s value is to strengthen this realm. Would our leadership in both the countries be able to say it as it is to their people, who have propped them up on the hymns of notional pure past and illusions of constructed binaries based on religion?
In case it is able to reset the agenda of peace and development, the future will be different or else playing for political power and nurturing on the illusions would keep us where we are, whatever claims we may make and how hard the ruling elite is against its own opposition. It would make no difference to the notional boundaries and day-to-day sufferings of the people.