Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Multai Events : LJA Convention & Shaheed Kisan Smriti Sammelan 11-12 Jan. 2014

Lokavidya Jan Andolan Multai Samagam  (Ashirvad Lawn, Multai, Dist. Betul, Madhya Pradesh ) 

The LJA convention on 11th January 2014 decided on a program that is expected to take this knowledge movement to the next stage through a direct association with the struggles of the peasantry across the country. Attempt at coordination among the struggles is to constitute the ground from where lokavidya is to make its knowledge claims and the two together would then move on towards a political imagination of the Lokavidyadhar Samaj.
The convention organized in collaboration with Kisan Sangharsh Samiti was attended by about 150 persons. There was participation of farmers and artisans from Indore, Nagpur, Varanasi, Singrauli and Multai regions. All the LJA activists from these places and from Hyderabad and Chirala were present. The convention began with Lokavidya Satsang in which groups of singers from Hiramanpur and Babhanpura (Varanasi) and from Khurdi (Indore) performed to present lokavidya darshan through Kabir-gayaki which focused on the reality of lokavidya in contrast to the 'appearance' that organized knowledge is. A group from Khursapar (Wardha) presented encouraging struggle songs to add to the occasion. This Satsang set the tone and the pitch of the convention. 
The convention was addressed by Sunil Sahasrabudhey, Dr. Sunilam, Krishna Thakre, Sanjeev Daji , Awdhesh Kumar, Lakshmichand Dube, Ravi Shekhar, Dr. Girish Sahasrabudhey, Vilas Bhongade, Dr.B. Krishnarajulu,  Mohan Rao, Narayan Rao, Dilip Kumar 'dili', Laxman Prasad, Suresh Yadav, Ehsaan Ali and Dr. Chitra Sahasrabudhey. Largely in conformity with the agenda three aspects got especially elaborated in these talks. 
  1. The idea of coordination among struggles of farmers through a stress on using a lokavidya impregnated language of knowledge to talk about and represent these struggles and focus on the larger unity of all the segments of lokavidyadhar samaj. 
  2. Activity of LJA in different regions, namely Singrauli, Indore, Varanasi, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Chirala. And a major presentation of the struggle of farmers of Multai. 
  3. The philosophy of lokavidya and the practical claims that need to be proclaimed today. 

The lokavidya claims put forward through a pamphlet and a booklet published on this occasion :
  • To live by lokavidya is the birth-right of every human being. So stop all displacement.
  • Hierarchy in the world of knowledge is totally unjust. Those who live by lokavidya must get as much return as the modern educated do. 
  • Everybody must have an equal share in national resources - electricity, water, finance, health and education. 
  • Local society must control local systems-governance, market, resources, all. 
  • There should be a media school in every village. This is a nav-nirman effort to enable the village youth in the representation, communication and articulation of the standpoint of the village, the lokavidya standpoint. 
Greater discussion on all these points is available in the Hindi booklet 'Jan Sangharsh Aur Lokavidyadhar Samaj ki Ekta' ( pages 26-30 ). See this link -

In the concluding hour Kisan Sangharsh Samiti joined LJA in resolving that these five points will be focused upon by building lokavidya samooh (groups)  in different states and these groups shall work in close coordination with the actual struggles of farmers, adivasis, artisans, women and small retailers. Madhya Pradesh activists present there formed this group for their state and it was decided that this would be done in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi through holding such conventions in these states by LJA in collaboration with struggles of lokavidyadhar samaj there. 

For decades now people's movement has been shaping itself through the two strands of Kisan Andolan and Jal-Jangal-Jameen Andolan. LJA sees itself as a knowledge movement of the people which will enable these strands to intertwine and become one to boot into higher forms, popularly known as transitioning into a political phase on one's own terms. Both the place and the time of this convention were entirely suited for the purpose. The place, Multai, is where 24 peasants were massacred by the state administration in 1998. The time, struggles of the peasantry across the country pose themselves to preface the emergence of two new political strands, one based in the new organization of knowledge, the new technologies and the new professional classes and the other deriving its strength, understanding and spiritual resource from lokavidya and from the people who live by lokavidya. Some discussion on this is available in  the Hindi booklet 'Jan Sangharsh Aur Lokavidyadhar Samaj ki Ekta' ( pages 21-24 ) available at    

Kisan Sangharsh Samiti - Shaheed Kisan Smriti Sammelan 

In memory of the farmer-martyrs of Multai, 12th January saw the gathering of farmers and a variety of social activists from many places. A large number first converged on the Shaheed Smarak Stambh near the Bus Station to pay homage to the martyrs of 12th January 1998. It was addressed by Dr. Sunilam for 10 minutes and then  the people marched in a procession to the nearby High School ground to convert into a meeting, presided over by Sh. Tanti Chaudhari, President Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (M.P.). The meeting was addressed by farmer leaders and social activists who had come specifically to  pay homage to the martyrs. The meeting was designed as a sensitive social event where mothers/wives/some family member of the shaheed farmers were honoured, a blood donation camp was organized and merit holding small school girls were encouraged with prizes and certificates. This was the 16th such event when such a gathering  took place and a comprehensive Multai Farmer Manifesto was read out and resolved upon. The event keeps alive a hope.  Lokavidya Jan Andolan felt honored for being invited to hold its convention on such an occasion and by being present on the occasion. 

Some Photographs from the Events

 Narayan Rao, Lokavidya Prapancham, Hyderabad 

 Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti

Sanjeev Daji, Lokavidya Samanvay Samooh, Indore 

Lokavidya Satsang, Indore Team 

 Struggle Song, Team from Khursapar, Wardha 

Lokavidya Satsang, Varanasi Team 

 Dr. Sunilam speaking at Shaheed Kisan Smriti Sammelan 

Shaheed Kisan Smriti Sammelan Gathering

Vidya Ashram

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