Saturday, February 22, 2014

Towards Lokavidya Sarkar - Kisan-Karigar Panchayats , March-April 2014

The meeting in Vidya Ashram on 10-11 Feb. 2014 was set into the vibrant political context of the impending General Elections in the country. This meeting was also the culmination of a long process of debate in Lokavidya Jan Andolan on how to think about a possible politics that takes its inspiration and intellectual resource from the world of lokavidya. The political crisis resulting from the emergence of the Anti-corruption Movement and the Aam Admi Party has created some what compelling conditions for the lokavidya-samaj , for the new and apparently change oriented situation hardly has any promise for them. So, we may have change and yet no change, or hardly any, for the poor and the bahishkrit. It  may be noticed that the new debates emanating from the political capitals, particularly Delhi now, have completely ignored the struggles of farmers, adivasis, artisans and small retailers raging all over the country, against the aggression, displacement and loot that they are being subjected to.
It is in these conditions that the LJA Multai convention put forth the five points (given below) from where one could begin some kind of process which may address primarily the issues of the lokavidya-samaj and equip the samaj with a wherewithal to campaign and struggle in the emerging situation. This was taken forward in the Vidya Ashram meeting on 10-11 Feb 2014 called for discussing the idea of a Lokavidya Agenda for the Nation. It resulted in conceptualizing Lokavidya Sarkar and  Kisan-Karigar Panchayat to take the process forward.

A series of Kisan-Karigar Panchayats have been planned in and around Varanasi in the first week of March. Farmers and artisans shall participate in these panchayats to talk about the nation and not just about how they are being victimized and exploited. The dates are -Varanasi 2nd  and 4th  March, Ghazipur 3rd March, Chandauli 5th March, Jaunpur 6th March and Mirzapur 7th March. It is proposed that such a process be taken forward by the activists of LJA where ever they are. Darbhanga, Singrauli, Indore, Nagpur and Chirala are preparing to do so.

The five points referred to above are :
  • To live by lokavidya is the birth-right of every human being. So stop all displacement and pay just and remunerative prices to farmers, artisans and adivasis for their production and services.
  • Hierarchy in the world of knowledge is totally unjust. Those who live by lokavidya must get as much return as the modern educated do. As a first step ensure that those whose work is based on lokavidya have a steady income, equal to that of a government employee. 
  • Everybody must have an equal share in national resources - electricity, water, finance, health and education. 
  • Local society must control local systems-governance, market, resources, Jal-Jangal-Zameen, 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. 
We hope that Kisan-Karigar Panchayats would develop into effective places where people gather to develop the idea of lokavidya sarkar. We should see more on this, in this blog in the coming months.  

Vidya Ashram

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