Kolkata, Jan 30: People should want laws, and not respect them out of fear, noted theorist, translator and post-colonialism expert Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak said here Wednesday, offering her view on how to prevent crimes like the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape.
“Respecting laws not out of fear, but actually wanting laws, should be the way to go. And wanting laws is a result of education and ethics,” said Spivak at the second Kolkata Literary Meet 2013 here Wednesday.
Spivak is best known for the essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” considered a founding text of post-colonialism and for her translation of, and introduction to, Jacques Derrida’s De la grammatologie (Of Grammatology).
In 2012, she was awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for being “a critical theorist and educator speaking for the humanities against intellectual colonialism in relation to the globalised world”.
She received the Padma Bhushan on Republic Day this year.
According to Spivak, besides wanting laws, one must also check whether laws are being followed. “There are so many illegal things happening in our country. It is important to see whether the laws are being followed or not,” she said.
The translator also felt that a change in mentality is necessary to bring about lasting change in society. “Changing laws cannot change everything. There is a need to change people’s mentality for a long-term effect,” she said.