What Hope Progress?

Indian Society of 2047

This article assesses the central arguments made in “Envisioning the India of 2047” by Shyam Menon (EPW, 8 February 2020).

The article “Envisioning the India of 2047” by Shyam Menon (EPW8 February 2020) raises some pol­e­mics around two foundational processes of our world: first, envisioning a future, and second, the social reproduction function of institutionalised education, in an ima­gination of 2047’s Indian society. In his disturbing argumentative analysis, the author highlights the precariousness of the former and status quo-ist nature of the latter.

In speaking of the first, that is, the caprice of envisioning a future, the aut­hor’s contention is chillingly appropriate. He points out that, at the current juncture, we are farther than ever before in history to what is arguably “the most read vision statement ever written” (Manifesto of the Communist Party [1848]) that dreamed of a classless society, which would emerge by the collapse of capitalism ­under its own weight. Not only did capita­lism not collapse but its sharper version, neo-liberalism, has established itself as the dominant global policy framework, seeking to cast human actions tow­ards a possessive individualism. The hopelessness of envisioning such an egalitarian Indian society, that M K Gandhi too dreamed of, hammers the reader as the author writes “India is one of the most unequal societies in the world today.”

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Updated On : 18th Aug, 2020

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