The utter generosity of the poor humbles us. They give rice to every mendicant even when their rice is getting over. That is what needs to be understood - their greatnes and their richness. That is what they are defined by. That they are impoverished is what defines us.
We are the cause of that poverty - and the onus is on us to share deeply and completely. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
K - Maybe it is too early for me to say this but
you can take these as my initial observations - while I have developed a huge
respect for the village skills, Idon't
see them getting transferred to the next generation and not too many
sustainable practices are left in the village. The shops in my village import
food and pretty much everything from the city. Plastics rule. Most sell their
nuts and milk, and buy oil. Tea and Tasmac are the staple drinks. There are 5
tea shops for 500 houses. Everyone who sees us walking or riding the cycle
advises us to buy a two-wheeler or bring the car. No, I am not complainingsmile
emoticonNor can I impose
my 'civilised worldview' on the village - they are already more 'civilised' and
'modern' than I am.
The Gram of Gandhi doesn't exist anymore. Gram Swaraj is going to require more
resistance and reinvention, than the freedom struggle.
Aparna - If the local economy
is not protected/ rebuilt, the people go, and with it all dreams and
have worked with traditional artisans and farmers , spoken with tribal
medicine-practitioners and forest-produce collectors . In just about every
space knowledge is getting lost or already lost to the next generation as we
have completely schooled their children in a pathetic low-quality
dis-interested teacher system of local state-run schools with no connect
curriculum. If dribs and drabs survives it is due to the family cultures in few
areas . Till respect is given along with support networks to even modern
markets , nothing will survive within a generation . With the mobile , everyone
is connected as with the TV in everyone's homes . There is the biggest and the
largest process of flattening of cultures and knowledge diversity happening in
the world , starting from the US University System at the top and the
government schools at the bottom . Till local knowledge is made respectable
again by groups and enterprises I am sorry it is all going to vanish like
Native American tribes . Not physically but in the mind .
Narang We now have more
and more documentation of traditions than living examples. We are more about
museums than creating in-situ sanctuaries. Gandhi's village is now left in the
driest or most remote regions. Anyone with good water or electricity is or will
soon be in the commercial system .
Krishnan I am looking for
answers. And yours is the bleakest, and most honest comment to date I have
faced - the possibility that this may go the way of the Native American
culture. Yes between schooling and TV the battle seems lost, but still we are
not permitted to lose hope. Who knows.
Narang Let me take
hand-block printing and natural dyeing as an example . To make wooden blocks a
child needs to be trained from age 10 . Now they accept it takes 10,000 hours
for excellence in any skill , even at 4 hours a day that is about 250 days a
year 1000 hours , so 10 years . With anti child-labour there can be no training
in traditional skills and that is what Modern activism desires funded by
Western agencies who only know factory and outsourcing . No blocks no block
printing . Even block printer skills are vanishing as screen printing can
deliver similar work at lower costs and is still hand work , eg like Khadi will
vanish but handloom live on since no women left to make hand yarn . And natural
dyeing , with the desire to have same kind of shade no mass production possible
as every bucket the shade will change , so only very elite possible .
Agriculture by extension officials is all about synthetic fertilizer and how
many places have no lab seeds left , almost nowhere in the green revolution
spaces . Cows ? Mostly going hybrid way . What traditional processes are left ?
Trees in forests , mostly teak or other wood based trees , even Forest
nurseries have till now not more than 10% plants of medicinal or other use
trees , forget shrubs and climbers . There is a major knowledge extinction
going on and nothing is even noticed . I give the left traditions another 10-15
years at most . At best a few oasis will survive .
Nisarg Joshi May this survived oasis flourish again
when the dust of the destruction settles down.
Krishnan Much will be
lost forever. Many traditional texts are lost forever, including in Ayurveda.
We need to do what we can do.
Mitra There is no
eternal loss. Lost in physical form is not the permanent loss. From these
protected oasis, I am sure seers will emerge again, as they do often, to
trailblaze the path one more time.
Yes, we need to do what we must can do (as per our dharma understanding)