That is to say, that portion of Western culture which is itself totally familiar with the tools of this game and has had a share in many of the signs and factors that created this world culture. But we are still left with the same two possible solutions in confronting these cultures. Either we turn our backs on it or we confront and fight. This confrontation with the probable winner, is in itself a form of conditional participation.
Turning one’s back on this situation is the worst thing to do because it can only lead to isolation, and isolation means vulnerability to damage. But if we do not turn our backs and if we participate conditionally, we may eventually find our rightful place.
The results of indifference are events like the 11th of September. To condone these events is to support an idea that has been created out of hatred and hostility, and is demeaning to the great culture of Islam. This is not a war of cultures between Islam and the
This event is a reaction to the injustice prevalent in the world today. It is the South warning the North against its all-consuming greed. A warning to the West and the North to give the East and South their due share of this world’s bounties. If this important matter is overlooked, there can be no alternative but to challenge this oppression and injustice. But the West viewed the matter from a different perspective and consequently reached a different conclusion. The East was the side to actually suffer. They hoped to call attention to their unequal status in this global equation, but ended up being viewed from the colonial lens of the West. This is because they have access to tools which we do not, and have learned how to use and apply them. Mcluhan remarks about one such instrument. They use these devices to dominate the world with their values and icons. In this cultural globalization, their forceful and inquisitive nature and knowledgeable utilization of mass media have allowed them to dominate, precluding our success in expressing our cultural identity.
Why is there so much emphasis on ‘the West’? The term ‘identity’ is also prone to being misunderstood. What we refer to as ‘identity,’ if expressed in simple words, would be a very appealing, understandable, and presentable concept. That is to say it would be an internationally understandable concept. Let me give you a more concrete example. If contemporary Indian writers are so well received and acclaimed worldwide, it is not because they write in English, but also because they express their problems at a level of awareness and intellect that is universally understood. This is the reason they are accepted by everyone worldwide. So in order to express this identity, we must first communicate in today’s language. But before all else we must revamp the essence of our cultural identity and understand that it must be presented in the generally accepted and predominant universal model. One can ask what this model consists of? The form that it must take has to be in a universally recognizable language and idiom, or the content will remain indigent and local. It will be irrelevant at the global level. It will remain ‘exotic.’
So we face two major problems in presenting our art and culture on the international stage: old and worn out content and an unfamiliar local format?
‘Old’ may not be the correct expression; maybe it would be better to say the contents are not relevant to our present day problems. We live in an in-between world which is a mixture of a local and native world and a general international world. We have both local and global identities. This in-between world is also extremely complex. It is fascinating and at the same time very complicated. If we were to express these in-between matters as a present day affair, in a presentation that was dually aware, and express our difficulties, they would automatically become public and international. A lot of our problems, as dual-identity, ‘hybrid’ members of today’s world, are similar to those of a Frenchman or an American. In this respect we all live under similar circumstances. If we can manage to do this, we can undercut this process.
What do we get out of this process?
That is another story altogether. Here we enter the realms of economics, the market and industry. How we can produce an economic formula from this phenomenon is another story altogether. First of all we are living off capital. We are heirs who have come into their paternal inheritance and are now living by spending that inheritance.