Why are human beings so bound by many identities? Struggling, only to make their own identity? In response, it can only be said that it is the recognition that repeatedly gives one the impression of their identity. That is why they jump into the politics of identity. Incidentally, it is a part of what is multicultural in its form in society.
In the meantime, it would be appropriate to point out for convenience that the identity that has been talked about here means individual and community-based identity, and that is why it is struggling with the crisis of its identity, which later takes the shape of politics from here and that is where it becomes politics of identity.
At the practical level, today’s society has different ideologies in the form of Marxism, liberalism, neo-liberalism (marketisation) and communitarianism, etc. But today, various identities are flourishing in these ideologies.
When it comes to females, her identity appears to be struggling with the male identity, Dalit identity appears to be in a state of struggle with Brahminism. Religious-Muslim identities appear to be in conflict with Hindus for their traditional cultural beliefs, and other religions are in conflict with each other.
So, the question is, what kind of world structure are we engaged in? A society obsessed with identity-based thinking, which has only one purpose — the attainment of recognition?
There was a time when Aristotle did not consider women and slaves to be participatory in governance. But by the 19th century, Western societies like Europe and the United States gave women civil rights and some legal rights, which led to laws for women’s rights in various developing societies.
This was the basis on which women established the politics of recognising their identity so that they too could determine their role in building this modern society.
But we must remember that Huntington once said in his book Clash of Civilisations that there would come a day when there will be a clash between civilisations for different cultures in societies, that is, the state of planetary warfare between different civilisations. We see that today as Dalit-Hindu (Brahmin class), Shia-Sunni-Baloch, Tamil-Sinhalese, Israel-Palestinian and Hindu-Muslim, etc.
So, it can be said that at its core is the politics of recognition that it wants to establish as the establishment of its own cultural identity. Later, the battle reaches representation, political participation and electoral politics.
There is a controversy in India today about establishing a uniform civil code of conduct in India. At its core, the different law codes between different religions leave no value and justice. This also shows a greater identity crisis.
Today, no matter what religion it is, it prefers to be always associated with its cultural heritage. In this way, we can see the Muslim community, which does not want to have a situation where it has to compromise on its Quran-based cultural beliefs. Similarly, Hindus also take special care of identity based on Vedic rituals, Upanishads, etc., as their cultural heritage. Similarly, the same identity politics begins to appear between Christians and Sikhs and other religions.
Now let’s talk about the part of society that is neglected by the mainstream, the divyang (disabled). They also want recognition before the Government and society by putting forward their social and human identity. So that they also get legal rights that other social classes have got and get rid of the scorning human exclusion that they suffer.
In different societies, the creation of one’s identity among different cultures also varies. For example, we have many who accept this identity crisis. Looking at the philosophical aspect, a person always wants the society they belong in to establish their identity recognition in the politics of that society.
When human beings are not recognised by society, they begin to establish their cultural supremacy and this idea begins to be harmful to harmony, rights, equality and other cultures. Therefore, in this way, the crisis of identity shifts to the politics of recognition.
It is not that this idea has just been born. It has been prevalent for centuries but has had its presence in its different forms in historical and modern times, which we can see and consider even today.
In the context of India, when it became a colony of the British, the psychological and Western cultural power that the British used at that time was a well-planned tradition of establishing a Western culture in this continent. And it was in this power that the British adapted social, economic, political and cultural changes into Indian tradition sans Indian political institutionalisation.