INHUMAN TOUCH IN THE TIME OF CORONA
Illustration with text
As touch, that can invoke love, desire, intimacy, connection and emotion, gets snatched away in times of physical distancing, the State forces its touch upon us. Violent, coercive, corrupt, communal, infused with the ugly assertion of power.
This inhuman touch of the State has been felt for over seventy years in the valleys of Kashmir, across the Northeast and the forests of the Red Corridor. Using the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Section 124A, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other ‘laws’ to kill, rape and incarcerate with impunity. Targeting activists, lawyers, feminists, trade unionists, students, minorities, Dalits, Adivasis, and queers.
The fire is spreading throughout the country. Engulfing all those working for human and constitutional rights, feminist values, secularism, and equality. Ready to engulf us all.
This piece is an attempt to look at touch beyond physical or emotional touch between humans and explore the idea of ‘institutional touch’. The touch of the State as an institution of power, and how it has used these powers during the Covid-19 crisis to suppress dissent.