“One-Dimensional” Being

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A deep understanding of the cultural and political dynamics of Indian youth is a matter of critical concern today. This article theoretically analyzes the relationship of Indian youth to the nationalistic discourse in the digital age through the lens of Herbert Marcuse and his persuasive concept of “one-dimensionality.” It is noticeable that among youth in the nation today, apart from a few dissenting voices, critique in the political sphere seems minimal. Moreover, such a trend is not confined to India. Rather, this new turn in youth culture has to be understood in a much wider context and seen alongside the emergence of a toxic technological society and new cyberspace. Marcuse’s concept of “one-dimensional man” is therefore extremely relevant to the study of youth culture in India today. This article delves into the Marcusian concept of “mechanics of conformity” and tries to analyze how Indian youth lose their traits of critical rationality as modern capitalism and technology develop in the Indian context. Finally, this article asserts by showing how the Marcusian concept of “negative thinking” can become a mechanism for Indian youth to overcome insuperable one-dimensionality.