Saturday, February 19, 2011

Addenda: The idea of Gyan Mukti


With apologies for leaving the last post unsigned (Lokavidya Jan Andolan and/or Gyan Mukti), I would like to add a couple of hints about what is meant by the idea of Gyan Mukti (Emancipation of knowledge) by reproducing excerpts from earlier Vidya Ashram documents.

1. From the Vidya Ashram pamphlet in Hindi 'Gyan Mukti Awahan'

GYAN MUKTI DARSHAN (The idea of emancipation of knowledge)

1. Knowledge is not an industry

2. Knowledge is not for profit

3. Knowledge is not the private property of anyone

4. Knowledge is not an instrument of exploitation

5. Exploitation of knowledge is a crime against humanity

6. Knowledge is the means for reconstruction of humanity and society

7. Gyan Samajhit ki Dharohar hai (help in translation required)

8. Knowledge is means of livelihood

9. Knowledge is the source of strength and liberation of humanity and society

10. All streams of knowledge deserve equal respect

2. From the VA document 'Autonomous Global University (AGU)'

"Twentieth century has been a century of knowledge production. It has also been a century of unprecedented violence. The knowledge that we produce is eventually turned against ourselves and against the whole society. While this was also true of the modern university, knowledge society that is in the making now seems to be singularly designed to appropriate knowledge and turn it against the producers of knowledge in the service of global capital and global machineries of violence.

AGU values all kinds of labour and all kinds of knowledge equally. AGU looks at knowledge as a means of reconstruction of society and individuals. AGU looks at knowledge as means of liberation, livelihood, culture. AGU thus works for the recognition and representation of all forms of knowledge in society. AGU seeks to step out on the periphery of time and gaze into the future. It seeks to build an imagination of the future society which is not just a variant of global capitalism. Through its activities it seeks to create idioms of global emancipatory transformations.

AGU looks at why our knowledge is turned against ourselves. It seeks to build solidarities across borders of the university and within the universities, solidarity of all bearers and producers of knowledge. It is not a bastion of creativity and production. It is an organ of dialogue, solidarity and organization. It seeks to organize the relatively empowered section of knowledge producers which are located in the university in order to challenge the global mechanisms of exploitation and violence. It seeks to expose the ways and means by which knowledge becomes an instrument of profit and a weapon against society. AGU seeks to emancipate knowledge from this condition."

Avinash Jha

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