ISSN: (Online) 2321 -4155
ISSN: (Print) 2320 -7000

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LAL DED AND HER TRANSGRESSIONS: COGNITIVE ECONOMY AND NEW MOVEMENTS

Niraj Kumar

 

ABSTRACT

Lallesvari (1335-1387), popularly known as Lal Ded, Lala Moj(Mother Lalla), Lalla Diddi was a poetess sage from Kashmir who has left an imprint on vibrant synthetic Kashmiri culture. She transgressed social norms and yet is followed by people from different religions. Her radical challenge to societal order was co-opted through complex cognitive mechanism. This paper describes the concept of cognitive matrix and cognitive surplus. Further, the same is deployed vis-a-vis concept of ‘internal history of mind’ developed by Jürgen Habermas, the chief proponent of the Frankfurt School. The paper examines the case of Lalla that reveals the working of an internal dialectics between ‘cognitive surplus’ and ‘cognitive matrix’. This dialectics diffuse power of surplus both within the producing subject and within the group mind in the movement at large. Even though Lalla subverts the social norms of her times, the same couldn’t transcend the critical limit and was diffused by such an internal mechanism within individual Lalla and outside by processes like legend production. There are subtle cognitive mechanisms beneath social movements. What kind of cognitive surplus be produced and how much of it, so that newer perspective takes form of wider social movement needs to be further studied and researched for better understanding of social change.

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