ZERO TAX AND REFINANCING FOR SACRED ECONOMIES
STEPS BY THE GOVERNMENT TO REJUVENATE SACRED ECONOMY ON A WAR FOOTING
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Centenarian Freedom Fighter H S Doreswamy addressing the satyagrahis
Environmentalist Vandana Shiva speaking to the Industrial workers
Why the Satyagraha?
Gram Seva Sangh has undertaken a satyagraha for revival of the sacred economy. Sacred Economy is that which gives maximum number of jobs with minimum investment and with least damage to the environment. The sage Valmiki in his Ramayana speaks of this harmonious existence between humans and nature.
The Monster Economy is losing
Today the Monster Economy has spread its tentacles all over the world. The nature and girth of this economy is indeed monstrous. Ironically, this economy is losing and it is defeating not only us, but its surroundings as well. This is the ideal time to defeat the monster economy and pave the way for sacred economy.
Should we allow the monsters to win?
No. But governments all over the world are desperately trying to save the monster economy with taxpayers’ money. When small and medium scale industries are in distress, when farmers, weavers, and artisans are turning away from their professions and migrating to cities, saving the monster economy is a crime.
Exclusion is not sacred
The very meaning of sacred is being changed. Segregation in the name of caste and gender discrimination is being promoted in the name of sacredness.
Sacred Economy sectors should have zero tax, have refinancing options and the government should work towards rejuvenating this sector immediately.
Fashion guru Prasad Bidapa hosts a fashion show of handmade fabrics on behalf of Satyagraha for Sacred Economy
Is it possible to measure sacred economy scientifically?
“This is an immeasurable demand. Even if the government makes up its mind to accede to the demand, it is not possible to do so.” This is the opinion of some people. However, this is not true. This goal can be achieved. I will explain below.
Sacred Economy has criteria
If there are handmade products and locally procured raw materials on one end, then there is completely automated and imported raw material on the other end.
We have also formulated a criterion for procuring raw materials that are swadeshi. If the raw material is procured within a hundred kilometers of the manufacturing unit, then it is swadeshi. Or else it will be treated as foreign. When Gandhiji announced Gram Swarajya, this limit was set at 8 kms or 5 miles.
The criterion for sacred economy has a 60-40 ratio. This means that a manufacturing sector should have 60 per cent human effort and 40 per cent automation. The same ratio applies to raw materials.
Panacea for the collapsing economy
All the sectors that meet these criteria should have zero tax (GST), have refinancing options, and receive measures to uplift the sector. The only way to resuscitate the collapsing economy is by adopting sacred economy. We should not forget that we are primarily a local economy compared to developed countries.
An example of implementation
Take the auto-manufacturing sector. A large number of organized workers are employed in this sector. For this very reason, the government has provided tax breaks amounting to crores and crores of rupees. Then why has it not seen the desired result?
This is because the workers are not present in large numbers in Maruti, Ford or Toyota assembly line. They work in smaller ancillary industries which are shutting down. For example, the industrial estate of Peenya in Bengaluru North, which is Asia’s biggest, has started closing down.
A collective movement
Revive the Peenya’s of this nation, not the monster economies. In this manner, this is a joint movement of the unorganized sectors of rural areas and the organized sectors of the cities.
Why use the word sacred?
There are several dimensions to the satyagraha. While the creation of jobs is one aspect, protection of nature and environment is second. The third is the social structure. The satyagraha is also fighting caste and gender discrimination. Segregation is not sacred, I strongly believe that only hard work is sacred.
Tradition and Saint movements
Whether it was the Kalyana Kranti led by Basavanna or the movement led by Saint Ravidas or by Saint Kabir etc..it is noteworthy that all of them also talked about creating jobs, protecting the environment and destroying the caste system. If work is worship (Kayakave Kailasa), then tanning and weaving are also forms of worship.
Not just the temple that is sacred
How are temples that deny entry to dalits sacred? Sant Ravidas who used to sit on the roadside is sacred to us. Buddha, who organized the dalits, Allama, Manteswami, Male Mahadeshwara and Junjappa are all sacred to us. For several years Gram Seva Sangh has conducted a padayatra to all sacred places and has now taken up the fight for sacred economy.
Are city workers not sacred?
They definitely are. The creation of jobs is not limited to the rural sector. Hence, we did not call this movement as Gram Swarajya. Our definition of sacred economy includes people in the city like women garment workers, pourakarmikas, factory workers etc who are in distress.
Is our demand too big?
Yes, our demand is vast. Were it to be smaller, it would have been easier. The problem today is large and hence our demand is large. Our fight for smaller demands has not yielded the desired result. The economic distress has swept our workers into untold hardship.
Do or Die
This is the age of Do or Die. This has led to the rise of a global movement called Extinction Rebellion, a peaceful civil disobedience movement. We are patient. Even if the administrators lose their patience, we will not lose it. The satyagraha will be peaceful.
What is the politics behind this?
This movement is not a political movement. We do not think that any political solutions can be found for this problem. But this does not mean that we will keep political workers away from our movement. We call upon all workers to join us and bear upon their political parties to rejuvenate sacred economy.
This is a moral fight
Our satyagraha aims to encourage people to stop increased consumption and buy sacred products. We also want to bring moral pressure upon the government to formulate laws to help sacred sectors.
Who are we?
We are not a workers’ union. Nor do we desire to gain political power with our satyagraha. Gram Seva Sangh is a union of all organisations involved in constructive work. We are working towards ensuring jobs in the sacred sector and protecting our environment. If our goals are met, then we will go back to our individual constructive work.
Reading of the Ramayana during the satyagraha with noted singer MD Pallavi , singer Naada Maninalkuru and author Prasanna (left)
Satyagraha is wherever you are
We are with you where you are. Your satyagraha should be harmonious and peaceful. If you lose your temper or use the podium to further the prospects of your political party, then we are not with you. We are with the people. We are with the environment.
What if others are angry with me?
Anger is a disease. If you do not cure it, then you will never see the truth. Swallow your anger and convince others to set aside their anger as well.
Retired Supreme Court Justice V Gopala Gowda sitting for the satyagraha
What is the stance of the government?
The governments talk a lot about creation of jobs and protecting the environment. But their actions are contrary to their words. They bail out big corporations. In turn, these corporations grow bigger and automate jobs. They are killings jobs and destroying the environment.
This teenager from Sweden is asking politicians and industrialists worldwide, “Why are you destroying my future, why are you destroying the environment for your profit?” We have the same question, but more specific. We also say that sacred economy is the only way to rescue the collapsing environment.
Release of the satyagraha’s logo. (L to R) M D Pallavi, Nada Maninalkuru, Vijayamma and Basavaraj Patil.
ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹದ ಘೋಷಣೆಗಳು (Satyagraha Slogans)
ಹಸಿರನ್ನು ಹಸಿರಾಗಿ ಉಳಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಕೆಲಸ ಕೊಡಿ…!
ಸಭ್ಯತೆಯನ್ನು ಸಭ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಉಳಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಕೆಲಸಕೊಡಿ..!
ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನೇ ಕೊಲ್ಲದಿರುವಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಡಿ..!
ಗ್ರಾಮಗಳನ್ನು ನಾಶಮಾಡದಿರುವಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸ ಕೊಡಿ..!
ಭೂಮಿ ಬಿಸಿಯಾಗದಿರುವಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸ ಕೊಡಿ..!
ನೆಲ ಜಲ ಜೀವ ಜಂತುಗಳು ನರಳದಿರುವಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸ ಕೊಡಿ..!
ಜನರನ್ನು ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಉಳಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಕೆಲಸ ಕೊಡಿ…!
Actor Kishore and other satyagrahis at a traffic junction
Noted handloom activist Uzramma speaks to youngsters at the Fashion show organized by Prasad Bidapa.
Noted historian Ramachandra Guha with Prasanna during his indefinite fast
Let us sit on satyagraha…..
The satyagraha by Gandhi-Ambedkar
The satyagraha that unites cities and villages
The satyagraha by nature lovers
A peaceful satyagraha by women and one and all
It is satyagraha by the youth
The satyagraha is wherever you are……..
GRAM SEVA SANGH
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