Will the politics of knowledge determine power contours?

November 22, 2016
By Dr. Neeta Inamdar

There is no confusion; knowledge is power. It has always been, and history holds testimony to this fact. 

Here, knowledge is the breadth and depth of inquiry the humankind has made in unearthing the hidden secrets of nature. Though knowledge is power, there is a difference in its intrinsic power and the ascribed power. 

As the gap between the two increases, politics makes room for itself in between. As knowledge is also a creation of the humankind, it becomes susceptible to manipulation. This has created a new void in the world – the knowledge haves and have-nots. 

Several debates about the flow of knowledge surface every now and then about whether the direction of this flow was from east to west, or west to east on a quest to find answers in antiquity. Any such debates in no time turn into what are fondly termed as leftist, rightist or centrist, or combinations of these within their own countries, and resort to retelling of history. 

Equitable dispersion of knowledge throughout the world may reduce rift and developmental disparities. However, that is only an ideal situation of imagination. The politics around it may only redefine power contours in the new world order - no one knows the direction or magnitude of this change.

This article is a part of 'Big Questions of Our Time - The World Speaks'. To download the full publication, click here

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