Monday, February 8, 2010
The fragmentation of Nationhood
I think as everyone might be aware of the comings and goings of Malaysi a similar trajectory can be seen with what is happening elsewhere around the world. The existence of minority communities. What we are truly living in at the moment is a post-nationalist world. The nationalist world while still in full effect elsewhere is becoming increasingly fragmented. Sure, Malaysia has had its problems and yes they have for these past few decades created racial riots severe enough to see that they cannot be together and they cannot be apart. It's like the Malay saying, 'Talan mati bapa, luah mati mama' (To swallow your father will die, to spit your mother will die). Malaysia definitely cannot exist if for instance it decides to fragment itself (which it would very improbably won't). The thought rose to me when I was reading Thomas Friedman's 'From Beirut to Jerusalem'. The Lebanese which saw the multiplying minority becoming a majority and like Malaysia too the Malays saw the extreme increasing number of the Chinese right before their eyes. Neither of these countries could exist without the other (well, that is their logic) but in a post-nationalist world where every country is fragmented in terms of race could be very well underhanded. These are wars of identity and ethnicity. Something in truth, very well historically engineered to exist. I wonder what is going on, honestly I am beginning to be suspicious that this is the work of creating non-fluid identities but a more marginalized ethnicity and country without regard to how much it forces people to become uniform. Whatever the arguments proposed for unity and sameness, I think could be summed up by the experiences of the untouchables of India and now I found out, the 'burakumin' of Japan.