Writing while imprisoned in a Fascist jail, Antonio Gramsci (activist, theorist, and founder of the Italian Communist party), was concerned with how power works: how it is wielded by those in power and how it is won by those who want to change the system. Gramsci realized that in order to create and maintain a new society, you also needed to create and maintain a new consciousness. In his work he talked about hegemony and propounded that – The power of cultural hegemony lies in its invisibility. Unlike a soldier with a gun or a political system backed up by a written constitution, culture resides within us. He further argues that- It doesnt seem political, its just what we like, or what we think is beautiful, or what feels comfortable. Wrapped in stories and images and figures of speech, culture is a politics that doesnt look like politics and is therefore a lot harder to notice. No culture, however, is completely hegemonic. Even under the most complete systems of control, there are pockets, what Gramsci, and later Hall, called counter-hegemonic cultures (ways of thinking and doing that have revolutionary potential because they run counter to the dominant power). For Hall they might be found in youth subcultures. According to Hall, the activists job is to identify and exploit these cultural pockets, build a radical counter-culture within the shell of the old society, and wage the struggle for a new cultural hegemony.
The above discussion was my way of plot building, so that it will be easy for my readers to easily understand my write up. Every society time and again produces intellectuals, but trust me it is not an easy job. Making of an intellectual is not easy but a lot of churning goes into his/her making.
According to a survey conducted by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Higher Education, New Delhi (2013 and 2016), in Jammu and Kashmir 79.3% students are enrolled in colleges or universities in Under Grad Programs. 11.3% students in Post Grad. (11643 males and 11038 females) and 0.4% and 0.7% respectively in PhD and M.phil programs (Ph.D: 432 males and 327 females. M.phil: 293 males and 291 females). It can be clearly seen that a very few people attain recognition in their fields. Still we are unaware of the fact that what is the exact number that makes it to the intellectual level. When the numbers are already less that by default reduces the opportunity of producing intellectuals at higher rates. These people can be a part of creating a radical counter culture. Our society and its responsible citizens must rethink and question themselves that do we actually deserve to be a part of brain drain that is very much prevalent in current situation? My answer of the question would be a big NO. I believe the same will be the answer of most of the people. It is high time to rethink and question ourselves and find answers to those questions in less time space that shall we end up being lost or we can be capable of producing something more cultivating and more productive for our society and its welfare. This is in wake of a bidding farewell to the PhD scholar – Manan Wani.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.