The Paradox of Ambivalence and Agency in Colonial Self: Evaluating Discourses of Nationalism, Patriotism, and Civilization with Reference to Intimate Enemy

Ravi Kumar
Colonialism was a rupture in history of colonial societies where a linear historicist dimension of time and progress was introduced as a new episteme in colonial space. Colonizers not only occupied the territory but also possessed the minds of colonized who perceived themselves according to Looking Glass of Civilization. (Cooley) During the mirror stage (Flax) dependent development of a new identity for the colonized self took place in gaze of M/Other (the West). West sometimes defined the
more » ... ct races as enemy of values (Fanon) and sometimes as a Child. (Nandy) Colonial relations were not simple master-slave relations where power was exercised from the top; rather these relations were dialectical in nature where both were synthesized in a new formation. In process not only the colonized were reshaped according to Western values but a homogenous west was also discursively constructed marginalizing many aspects of Western civilization. Resistance discourses also discursively constructed a new past exaggerating the masculine aspects of their culture to counter the West. The paper is an attempt to study the paradox of ambivalence and agency in colonial spaces by double reading Ashis Nandy's-The Intimate Enemy: The Loss and Recovery of Self‖, in light of psychoanalytical/postmodern theories of Cooley, Lacan, Guttari and Lyotard; and postcolonial thinkers like Frantz Fanon.