Monday, December 1, 2008

Resolution Adopted at the Lokavidya Panchayat in Sarnath, Varanasi

Lokavidya Panchayat

Vidya Ashram, Sarnath, Varanasi
16 Nov., 2008


We, the peasants, artisans, women, artists, small shopkeepers and social activists assembled in the first Lokavidya Panchayat organized at Vidya Ashram, Sarnath, Varanasi on 16 Nov, 2008, deliberated over a variety of issues and dimensions related to lokavidya and the possessors of lokavidya (lokavidyadhar samaj). On the basis of the opinions expressed and the discussions that took place in this day long panchayat of about 200 persons, we unanimously adopt the following resolution and express our commitment to work in line with the directions embodied in this resolution.

The Claim
1. Lokavidya Panchayat is a knowledge panchayat of the lokavidyadhars.
2. This panchayat puts forward the claim that lokavidya is genuine knowledge and lokavidyadhars are knowledgeable persons.

The Understanding
3. Human beings are epistemic beings. Knowledge and wisdom are their natural qualities.
4. Most people, peasants, artisans, adivasis, very small shop-keepers and women have never been to a college or a university, but they have their own extensive knowledge. Their knowledge is called lokavidya and they are known as lokavidyadhar.
5. On the basis of lokavidya they run their households and provide a variety of things and facilities to the whole society.
6. The reason for the very bad condition of their life is that their knowledge, lokavidya, is not organized. Their knowledge gets no recognition in politics, in the big bazar, in leading cultural institutions and in the universities. Actually the power centers of the society refuse to give the status of knowledge to lokavidya.
7. Because of this, no need is felt of taking the views and critical assessments of the lokavidyadhars on the values, policies and structural provisions that guide and set the country and the society in motion. As a result matters of interest to the lokavidyadhars fail to assume concrete public status and also do not find any place in the policies and systems that the government puts in place.
8. So long as lokavidya is not organized, the lokavidyadhars will not be able to effectively intervene in the public realm. Lokavidyadhar samaj needs to take initiative to organise lokavidya under its own leadership, then only can they command respect and get rid of poverty.
9. Lokavidya Panchayat is a place of knowledge activity of the people, from where lokavidyadhar samaj distinuishes the right from the wrong based on its own knowledge and not by blind faith on some experts.

The Program
10. Lokavidya Panchayat is such a gyan panchayat of the lokavidyadhar samaj where peasants , artisans, adivasis, very small shop-keepers and women come together to strengthen and increase the capacity of their respective knowledge and where they dialogue with one another on an equal basis transcending caste, religion, race and sampradayas.
11. A campaign shall be organized by the Panchayat for bringing down the ratio of highest and lowest incomes from different knowledge streams to 5:1. Today in government this ratio is 15:1 and in the private sector it is about 100:1.
12. With this ratio in view the panchayat will prepare charters on the systems of market, agriculture, industry, education, health-care etc. and place them before the government for implementation.
13. The Panchayat shall reflect on the values, strengths and forms of intervention of lokavidya to construct campaigns for reform and improvement in the sectors of art, culture and mass-media.
14. The Panchayat shall tirelessly place ideas and resolutions before social and political leadership for the well-being, respect and prosperity of lokavidya and lokavidyadhar samaj.

The Appeal
15. Come forward to establish in society a lokavidya based knowledge process to move towards a society based on equality and justice.
16. Come forward to organize lokavidya panchayats at great many places.

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