Statement of the First Meeting held in Varanasi in November 2010
There were participants from Singrauli, Indore, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandauli and Varanasi. The following statement was issued at the meeting. The full report in Hindi is available here.
The Varanasi Statement
- The era of Globalization and the Internet has made explicit and brought into focus the two strands in the world of knowledge, namely, lokavidya and organized knowledge. The separation of and the relation between these two worlds of knowledge seem to be at the same time the cause as well as the effect of the digital divide in the real world. The gap between the rich and the poor has picked up pace and one sees peasants, adivasis, workers, artisans, pavement retailers and their families (the lokavidyadhar samaj) being uprooted from a fresh end. Two worlds are being created in broad day light. On one side there is unconstrained celebration; the politics in the capital cities, institutions of religious authority, big capital and global market and the apex educational institutions all are in a celebratory mood with 'no holds barred', whereas on the other side those trying to organize the incessantly dispossessed are struggling to find pathways to be able to confront this new arrogance and capacity of the ruling classes.
- It is important to understand that these emancipatory pathways traverse through the world of knowledge. Peasants and adivasis, artisans and women, pavement retailers and workers need to stake a claim for lokavidya. They need to claim that a radical challenge to capital and commercialization of knowledge can be posed only by lokavidya. They need to also claim that only lokavidya provides the knowledge bases for a society based on truth, social and economic equality and bhaichara. We need to understand that until these claims are staked we shall remain prisoners of our preconcieved notions of radical social change, without effect. The knowledge claim of the lokavidyadhar samaj alone can give birth to new thought in the realms of economics, society, politics and culture. The process of giving shape to such claims is the process of Lokavidya Jan Andolan.
- Lokavidya is the fundamental form of knowledge, it lives among the people. All knowledge starts with lokavidya and returns to Lokavidya. Knowledge that refuses to return to lokavidya, turns against society and nature and does not deserve to be called knowledge. Lokavidya Jan Andolan is that knowledge movement of the lokavidyadhar samaj which opens the pathways of radical reorganization of society in people's interest from a lokavidya standpoint.