Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random Thoughts

These are some random thoughts - reactions to contributions to the blog. Nothing cogent. I suppose that is allowed on a blog.

1. Do we regard LJA as a continuation of Gandhi? I think we have a serious case to do that. But then we cant regard Gandhi's movement as dead. LJA cannot be a continuation of something dead. We will have to connect to specifics in what remains of Gandhian movement. May be the spirit behind khadi which Surendran talks of.

2. The active / positive conception of lok is obviously central to any theoretical / philosophical exercise. It seems to me that the category to which it belongs is materially different from that of the conception of the proletariat. It is nearer to that of human labour. It is 'timeless', if such a thing is allowed. This should be so to the extent that a fresh description / interpretation of history is called for. Also this has something to do with concerns about 'universality' of which timelessness with regard to human societies is surely an attribute. Also this goes well with understanding of history as one of march of human creativity and autonomous nature of this creativity.

3. This autonomy also implies that creative human activity is by its very nature inward looking. It would be impossible to comprehend how lokavidya, its societal form, can be the vehicle for survival in the face of external assault unless it is admitted that the lok is necessarily inward looking. Our case is that the external condition has acquired an overbearing character of such magnitude that this very essence of human creative activity is in danger of extinction. That would be an unthinkable contradiction conjuring up nightmare of robot societies.

4. The perception that people do not want any government is a reflection of that external condition. This perception was actually voiced by the leadership of farmers' movement in Maharashtra. But then it receives a very different meaning when comprehended without an appreciation of the idea of lokavidya.

5. Lok is non-political. Politics is at the interface where lok confronts the external and I think it deeply affects ordinary life. Ordinary life has to engage with politics on a daily basis and from an inferior position. In times like the present this engagement may transform itself into one from an equal / superior position where future of human societies in concerned. The standpoint of lokavidya provides the basis for that transformed political engagement today. This engagement is at the same time purely temporary, eminently required and inevitably christened liberating. We should look at LJA as the effort to define its beginnings.

Girish Sahasrabudhe


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