Designing an Illusion of India’s Future Superpowerdom
The article dissects current utopian visions of future Indian superpowerdom and traces them to underlying convergences between right wing political Hindu nationalism and philanthrocapitalism. By looking at how utopian visions are materialized in the elitist aesthetics of ‘royal chic’ parading on New Delhi’s fashion ramps and in the aesthetics of hypermodern smart cities of the future, the article explores the aesthetic and affective convergence of an imagined economy and (re-)invented traditions. In the problematic terrain of philanthrocapitalism, the ‘factish’ of GDP and the doxa of Indianness have come to form the core of current populist myths. In so doing they produce an illusion of future India that nobody really believes in, yet structures reality and is passionately embraced by many. The article suggests that the problem with such utopian myths is not that they are myths, but rather it is the direction they are pushing in and their consequences which require questioning. The article provides preliminary analysis of, and answers around, this problematic of resonant versus dissonant futures and their imaginaries.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.