Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Following is an invitation to June 28-29 2014 Nagpur, announced earlier on this blog. Meeting convened by LJA. Attached is also the Agenda for the meeting.

Lokavidya Jan-Aandolan, Nagpur

D-1, Vrutta Srushti Sankul, Near Bole Petrol Pump,
Tel: 09422559348, 09890336873
East High Court Road, Dharampeth, Nagpur 440010

Invitation to Meeting of

Organizations of Lokavidya Samaaj and Peoples' Movements

[10.30 AM, 28 June -- 04.00 PM, 29 June, 2014]


Vinoba Vichar Kendra, Amravati Road,

Near Bole Petrol Pump, Dharampeth,

Nagpur 440010

Reapected Sir / Madam,

During the past few months the country witnessed the heat and dust of the process of general elections. The results have brought to the fore an almost total political marginal-ization of peoples' movements. A new government is in power as a result of an urge for change, absence of alternatives and in complete absence of even a semblance of any national debate on economic and social policy. Peoples' movements in the country not only do not expect any radical departure from post-1990 economic policies pursued by successive central governments, but, on the other hand, apprehend a deepening of the same policy and its consequences. Among the activists of these movements there is a wide perception of an urgent need for new perspectives in formulation of peoples' questions. All are in search of ideas, which may provide a basis for unity as well as for politics of emergence of a society honouring social equality and justice. Lokavidya Jan Aandolan is an initiative in service of this need.

Dominant political practice revolves around the idea of development. All major and minor political parties and organizations speak the idiom of development. So do most of the peoples' movements, albeit with a humanitarian tempering of the idea. However, the very idea is fraught with two presumptions, which command a central position in it. The rst is that people are illiterate, ignorant, incapable, and so poor and weak. The second is that they need external agencies and forces to educate and develop their communities and so liberate them from the pervasive darkness of ordinary life. No amount of humanitarian tempering and patronization of people for their skills has ever dislodged these presumptions.

Lokavidya Jan Aandolan believes that people are knowledgeable. They live and or-ganize their societies by their knowledge. The central political reality today is that large sections of people have managed their lives entirely on the basis of their own knowledge of land, forest, water, environment, materials, economics, markets, management, culture, justice and truth. They do this in the face of severely repressive external conditions created by state policy, global markets, administrative apathy and natural calamities. It is this reality that provides a thread common to people in struggles led by peoples' organizations. This is their strength. It is essential to see that for them the politics of development, at best a ghostly shadow of radical politics of the past, is in fact a mere web  of deceit and fraud.    

Peoples' questions can be successfully addressed only in and by peoples' movements. A widespread peoples' movement needs rethinking peoples' questions from a fresh beginning. Lokavidya Jan Aandolan believes that strength in peoples' knowledge (lokavidya) is the nucleus for a unifying political idea for peoples' movements. The idiom of development should be discarded and search for a unifying idiom, that captures this strength to think and reformulate peoples' questions, should begin.

On this background Lokavidya Jan Aandolan, Nagpur is organizing a Meeting of peo-ples' movements and organizations of lokavidya samaaj, that is of farmers, dalit-aadivasis, artisans, women and small shop-owners. The Meeting will discuss formulation of peo-ples' questions with the above perspective. The discussions on the second day will center around two points in order to focus on peoples' knowledge and its potential for social regeneration. These are as under.

  1. Working by ones own knowledge and abilities, everyone must be assured of a minimum income, which is not less than the minimum wages laid down by pay commissions constituted from time to time by the govern-ment for the organized sector;

  1. Unequal distribution of national resources on the basis of supposedly progressive science and technology, economics and modern management practices must stop and these resources, namely education, health ser-vices, electricity, water and nance, must be distributed equally.

We cordially invite you to the Meeting. Your thought and your experience of peoples' organization and struggles will make a huge contribution to the Meeting and help it reach a fruitful programmatic conclusion.

With regards,

Vijay Jawandhia
Girish Sahasrabudhe
Vilas Bhongade

The Agenda for the Meeting:

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