Sunday, March 13, 2016

The tech savvy professional Sangh woman




The emergence of the Sangh in post-liberalization India rides on the participation of tech-savvy men and women, empowered yuppies in tech centers, Internet-empowered corporate executives with MBAs, and now-arrived NRIs in US, UK, Singapore etc. who see the Sangh as a tool for returning their lost dignity.

The Sangh is the ride to the market, Indian ishtyle. These are the Sanghi net warriors. The trolls that inundate the Internet. The Twitterati feeding cycles of Sanghi propaganda. The likes of Shilpi Tiwari. Tech savvy. Sanghi minded. And full of hatred for the "other."

Particularly salient in these groups is the presence of the tech-savvy, professional Sangh woman.

The Sangh woman is convent educated, professionally trained, tech-empowered, and consumer savvy.

She had heard of feminism and enfranchisement and is vocal about gender rights. She has found her joy ride to the tech centers of Noida and Bangalore. Or perhaps a ride to Silicon Valley.

The tech savvy Sanghi woman might be working at an Infosys. Or a Meryll Lynch. Or Google.

She is emancipated. The face of an empowered India. Empowered with technology. Empowered to participate in the New Nation.

For the Sangh woman, hatred for Muslims offers an easy narrative of alignment. The narrative is  one of the Muslim "other" that is threat to "Mother India." Hatred for dalits is another easy narrative. For her, Dalits represent a class of opportunity-seekers who use reservation quotas to move ahead in life, reducing the opportunities for her Brahminical brethren.

Technology is a tool for actualizing individual identity. So the Sanghi woman turns the other way when her Sanghi brothers attack women.

The Sanghi woman does not find the RSS attack on women's rights a problem as long as her own rights are protected.

Emancipation for her is individualized in the Nike Label. She can "Just do it." She can achieve whatever she wants to achieve.

The gender question for her then is not one of solidarity, but one of individualist progress. In this individual success narrative, gender can be performed as a successful career trajectory, disengaged from broader questions of gender, inequality, and patriarchy of Indian society.

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