ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Language of Revenge


In recent times, some political figures seem to be using different modes of expressions and idioms in order to gain some degree of public prominence. In their endurance to gain some hold over such a symbolic resource, political figures, either by themselves or through their supporters, seek to narrow down the ever-enlarging democratic political sphere to satisfy their personal desire, ambition, and ego. To reduce the ever-expanding political sphere in order to build one’s personal image is both subtle as well as blatantly obvious. What, however, is more amusing, if not annoying, is the use of the language of revenge that politicians have chosen for satisfying their personal political ego. Such a language obviously belongs to what could be termed as the hierarchical sphere of premodern politics. Political hierarchy is analogical to social hierarchy in which the norm is to maintain unequal but socially defiling distance. The social norms around which the hierarchy is organised are humility and loyalty that leads to servility. Thus, a Dalit who violates the caste norms of hierarchy is punished with impunity. Thus, Dalit morality works to avoid becoming equal to the upper castes, and remaining less than the upper castes becomes the guarantee to avoid revenge.

It is premodern politics where the language of revenge finds its shocking salience in the public expression of some of the leaders. Thus, the norms of such politics are loyalty, fidelity, and servility. In modern politics, a political actor or a leader has the choice and autonomy to walk out from the hierarchical relations and use democratic options to exercise one’s choice to associate with a politics that moves from the most autocratic form to a plural one. Those who use their autonomy to promote a politics of plurality and become the part of larger politics have to face this revengeful political attitude. The language of revenge necessarily militates against autonomy for plural politics and hence works against democracy.

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Updated On : 10th Dec, 2022
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