Gram Seva Sangh NewsLetter | June 2020

Hi Friends!

We hope you all staying safe in these difficult times and wish you all good health.

Recent articles and program updates


As you all know Gram Seva Sangh is sustaining its efforts through couple of volunteers and from friends monthly small contributions. This support is immeasurable for us.

On the one hand, the contribution from our member subscribers is thinning during these trying times.  To keep our campaign going especially when a lot of anti-people legislations and moves are being rushed through by the government at state and centre. We would like to broad base our supporters so the regular contributors are not overburdened.

On the other hand, considering the current crisis, we believe this is the time we need to step up the efforts to work with many organizations. To do that, we need to first sustain current full time and part time volunteers and a few more volunteers to increase the efforts. 

More of your small financial contributions will make this happen, so we thought requesting these below things,

  •  – Subscribe to become a monthly donor with your small monthly financial contributions
  •  – Request your friends and interested folks to subscribe to contribute monthly
  •  – We also request already contributing Subscribers who can afford to increase a small extent  

Our Bank Details mentioned below for your use, Please send us a message after contributing by online:

Name:   Gram Seva Sangh                  Bank:              Indian Bank
Branch: Chamrajpet, Bangalore        A/c number: 6820702287 (Current a/c)
IFSC:      IDIB000C007  


Recently Gram Seva Sangh office shifted to Heggodu Village, Sagara Tq, Shivmogga Dist due to the Health concerns of our volunteers and Mentors, So we request your cooperation due to any inconvenience by this.

Our New postal Address: Gram Seva Sangh, c/o, Charaka, Bheemanakone 577 417, Sagar Tq, Shimoga District,

India | Ph: 08183 – 265601 / 02

Campaign Against Amendment to Land Reforms Act by Karnataka Govt. Updates:

Some of the articles wrote by our mentors as part of this campaign are available at :

To watch more videos click Here to visit Gram Seva Sangh Youtube channel

Facebook: @ragikana | Twitter: @ragikanasanthe | Instagram: @ragikana

Webinars Updates

May – July, 2020

Ashoke Chatterjee , Handicraft Activist
(Photo Courtesy The Daily Eye)

Prof Ashoke Chatterjee Talking on

“Handcrafting a sustainable future: Challenge and opportunity in a new millennium”

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 840 8486 6213

Date Topic Speaker Talk & Discussion Link
12th July Role of Community based (social) media platforms for social change Vijay Sai Pratap, CEO, Gram Vaani
5th July Urban Foodscapes- Food Gardens for Urban Houses Dr.Rajendra Hegde, Co-founder of BRICS
28th June Community Restoration of Natural Hydrological Balance Ayyappa Masagi, Water Literacy Foundation
21st June Design to Sustain – Sustain to Live Prof. Sathya Prakash Varanashi, Architect
14th June RangDe India – a mass citizen’s movement to support farmers Ram NK, Co-Founder and CEO, Rang De & Habba
7th June Building a decentralized, sustainable economy, through Swaraj Dr. H Manjunath, Agriculture Scientist, School of Natural Farming – Tumkur
31st May Impact of lockdown on women workers in informal sectors Geetha Menon, Co-founder, Stree Jagriti Samithi
24th May Khadi – Challenges Of Today Ravi Kiran, Metaphor Racha, Khadi Activist
17th May Rural Sustainability in Current Times M V N Rao, Grama Vikas

For more updates visit: or  Facebook : @gramsevasanghindia Twitter : @gramsevasangha |Instagram: @gramsevasanghindia

Recalling the Mother Tongue Theatre Movement

When all of us talking about “Going Local”, here we would like to recall some of such movements happened in the past, to get inspired by those true spirit.

One such movement is Mothertongue Theatre Movement 2005, which clearly said, all regional languages theatre (means “Local” theatre) has to be considered as “National Theatre”, decentralize the National cultural Institutes and more, which we must work towards.

Are we really “Going Local”?

In the name of Local, centralized, uniform, authoritarian culture is not enforced on us?, Hope, the below movement brochure gives you more clarity of thought.

Note: Brochure courtesy Kavi Kavya Trust & Shramajeevi Ashrama, Bhimanakone, Sagara, Karnataka Library

  • Gram Seva Sangh
Veteran Theatre Personalities M S Sathyu, Chindodi Leela, Nagabharana and Prasanna can be seen in this cover page photo of the movement brochure

Are we really “going local”?

In the not-so-recent past

During the sunset-years of the 19th century, a radical thought was taking shape in India. The “Swadeshi Movement” which was officially launched in 1905 had its theoretical aspects defined in the late 1800s. Stalwarts such as Naoroji, Tilak, Ghokale, Aurobindo are credited with the thought leadership for the same. History tells us that the Swadeshi movement is a “nationalistic movement”, i.e a political movement. But at its very core, this movement was an economical one, born from the understanding that the oppression of the Indians within India was predicated upon the economic control of the entire Indian populace by a few Englishmen.

Being “nationalistic”, today is not considered good behavior by many; it certainly is not seen as progressive. We now associate it with mostly the right-wing, jingoistic and populist style of politics that has taken roots in most parts of the world that has sailed the democratic and secular oceans to arrive at this point. What happened? One reason could be the mix-up involving “method” and “intent”. Movements like the Swadeshi were born out of the need for human beings to unshackle themselves from an oppressor, “a real adversary” (so to speak). Today’s nationalism is born out of the need to manufacture non-existent enemies or distract us from the real ones or both.

The modus-operandi of the Swadeshi Movemement was to “go local”; to boycott foreign products (very specifically, British) and opt for local produce. Underlying this was the confidence that came from “Atmashakthi” (self-strength) , a term coined by Rabindranath Tagore during the same years, when he was putting together his thoughts on Indian Nationalism. In other words, to even begin thinking about boycotting something, to say a “firm no” to external help or input, one first needed to build the inner strength to be self reliant and be confident enough to endure what comes after.

The Swadeshi movement later paved way to progressively mature and effective movements. With the entry of Gandhiji into the Indian Independence Struggle, “Swadeshi” found new intent, meaning and methods where he combined his success of the Satyagraha (that he conceived while in South Africa) with the good-parts of the Swadeshi movement to come up with the tools and ethos which made possible a national conscience strong enough to put up a non-violent struggle against the British-might.

Our grand experiments with “local”

Colonialism, and India’s tryst with it aside, the need for “going local” has been the need-of-the-hour for long. Every individual who has considered or worked towards an “ecologically viable”, “socially just” and “economically alternative” society knows the importance of “going local”. In fact to understand the benefits of going local, one only has to stare at the disadvantages of a world that went global; to be specific, the disadvantages of “globalization”.

Chipko Movement | Photo Courtesy

It has been a perpetual struggle between these two forces. One that wanted to establish a global-order and another that resists it by celebrating diversity, “the local” and decentralization. If there is a tiny amount of hope today with some skill and culture left in parts of the world that are not yet completely transformed, it is because of the small victories of the latter group. In India especially, even today, we retain some traditional agricultural methods, weaving practices, skills and products that demand respect for human labour simply because we upheld the notion of local over global; a storyline of struggle that connects movement to movement, generation to generation. But was that enough?

We have deluded ourselves in some cases of “going local”; in most cases, we have celebrated too early. This is because we overestimated our success. The very fact that, as a society, we democratically elected a corporation-friendly, yet traditional-sounding ideological concoction, as our leaders and governments today, should be proof enough that we have completely missed our goals. Our attempts all these years to stay local has been within the perimeters set by the “market”; issue of having to “comply”. We have had so many of our “local” stories that gladly claim to be “Swadeshi” but actually can only be considered local “productions” at best. Even the not-so-nuanced original “Swadeshi Movement” was about “local consumption”. Gandhi’s and Kumarappa’s interpretation and experiments with Swadeshi have been about both consumption and production.

These are strong reasons today to rise above our own petty self-declared victories and march towards what is truly local. If nothing, the collapse our years of “half-baked” local movements in current times when a pandemic has struck the world, should serve us as a reminder that our job is far from complete.

“Local” politics

It was only a matter of time before the hyper-nationalistic party, that forms the Indian Government today, decided to use “local” in their vocabulary. It is also very amusing that Tagore’s “Atmashakthi” has been aptly re-purposed into an “Atma Nirbharata” (presumably meaning the same thing but with a twist for the slogan-entertained citizen of the present).

The call to go local is not new even within the short history of the current ruling party. “Make in India” was a campaign that ran before this and regardless of what the “thinkers” thought about it, the average person’s idea of this matter varied from “International companies employing Indian workers” to “Made in a factory that is physically located on Indian soil”; a vague enough cloud of interpretative smoke behind which we can continue to worship the only God we know now; that of Capital.

During the Coronavirus crisis of 2020, the call to “go local” will again have all sorts of interpretations. For some – with an overconfident zeal- it has become a chance to raise some dirt against our behemoth neighbour, China. For others, this is an opportunity to “somehow stay alive and relevant” in the dark-and-dying days of Capitalism. So going local today will only mean one thing for businesses that never came up with the true intent of creating local economies; to extract “whatever is left” in terms of resources and run away with the last few crumbs of the pie.

“Local” is but one word in a dictionary and this word is loaded. Hence it is easy to be used to abused, which it will be. So was “Swadeshi” and so was “Swaraj”. We need to look at all the words involved and truly take them in. Self, friends, family, village, community, nativity, interdependence, social, sacrifice, commons, sustainability, ethics, rootedness, belonging etc. Understanding those terms, seeking out and making changes, starting with the self, is essential for understanding what is meant by “local”. But that is not what the politicians will tell us. We need to be wary.

Striving to be “local

For us to even consider having made a dent by “being local”, we would have to first look at “local consumption”. This is not the same as a city-based-consumer buying a product that has the label “locally produced” (be it food, durable or clothes). It is about actual fuel-miles that the product took to reach the consumer, beginning from raw-material extraction that formed its component parts. Taking an example of unstitched cloth, “How far is the weaver from you?”, “Where is the lady who spun the yarn?” “Where was the cotton grown?” are what defines the product to be classified as local. This works for all products and services. “How far is your kid’s school teacher?”. “Where are my cups and saucers made?”. “Did I make that compost I used for my organic herb-garden, or did I buy it from Thailand from a local community?”.

So when the health conscious consumer in Mumbai buys organically grown fresh vegetables from rural Maharashtra, or the ethnicity and ethics conscious consumer in Bangalore buys hand-crafted products from rural Karnataka, we are barely scratching the surface. This is true when we also find false equivalences between organic and local, ethical and local, environmental-friendly and local, handloom and local etc. Which usually leads to newer forms of markets but never truly addresses the real problem, that of consumerism.

Citizens Burning Boycotting Chinese Products as a reaction, after twenty Indian army personnel were martyred during a clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh’s Galwan valley | Photo Courtesy – PTI

The other larger issue when striving to be local is about mixing up the urge and well-meaning intent to be local with nationalism and regionalism, with complete disregard to areas, sizes, climactic conditions and watersheds that form the basis for defining real “locals”. If we were to exist in the southern-most tip of India and home-order something from Assam, can it be deemed local? In large states (that are the size of some of the world’s countries), does it even make sense to create the food miles necessary to transport goods from one corner to the other? Thinking “local” should be elevated above petty administrative boundaries.

Folk Singing Community from Hyderabad Karnataka

Limiting “local” into “products” is also an issue. There is a lot more to local than that; languages, knowledge, customs, know-how and ways-of-life. We need to be able to re-adapt some and value them for what they are. We should avoid being led into a guilt-trip (a trick often played on us by our own modernity) that all local is automatically barbaric, bad and evil. In fact an objective mind should look at “local” for its spatial, economic and environmental value alone. The evolution of “local” from some ancient-form into a newer-form is not “global” (an easy mistake to make), it is just newer-local, a current-and-improved form, as we individuals and communities learn and move on. Hence understanding local and appreciating it for “concepts” before “products” will actually go a long way in understanding production and consumption itself.

It is very tempting to give ourselves the “local” label very quickly, either because our existing delusions need validation or we are part of the same group that needs to pathologically align with the political conscience of this country. Both are not going to help in the long run. To be local, we need to look at the full circle and begin at consumption and then go towards production. This also means, we have to produce for necessity and not for the sake of production itself (which is one of the pillars holding up Capitalism and all of the monsters it spawned, including the current Coronavirus crisis).

The word “local” itself is not lying to us; the people who use it are. It only has a “space implication”, i.e of distance between us (the consumer) and the site of production. Our ideas and thoughts need to have far-reaching implications and consequences but our resource extraction and consumption should now have short-distance gratification and value. To be “truly local” we need to aim for a diverse and colourful world composed of a plethora of “local economies” of interdependent and small communities that strive to give-and-take locally from each other as well as this planet.

– Ratheesh Pisharody

Writer, Bangalore,

Land reforms required for a just and sustainable society

  • Shreekumar | 30 June 2020

The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to take the ordinance route to implement amendments to the Land Reforms Act that will enable anyone with enough money to buy agricultural land.  This amendment will open the floodgates for predatory capital to enter agriculture.  Land ownership will be consolidated in the hands of people with money.  It will also lead to large scale mechanised agriculture.  Our policies must be aimed at optimum land holdings for sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture.  The importance of agriculture in ecological restoration and the fact that no sector of the economy can match agriculture in providing employment must not be forgotten while framing policies.  Land reforms must be part of a larger policy shift towards social justice and sustainability.

Our laws and policies must be framed so as to promote social justice and sustainability.  Thus far, our policies have been guided by considerations of economic growth rather than sustainability.  Since neo-liberalism gained ground, our policies came to be guided solely by pursuit of economic growth, without even bothering to think about who benefited from it.  This has resulted in unacceptable economic inequality as well as ecological destruction.  Now that climate change has reached a point of crisis, it is necessary to recognise that the crisis is a symptom of the fact that humanity has been conducting its affairs in an unsustainable manner.  We are truly in an emergency and we must respond to it as we do to any emergency, i.e. according it the highest priority.  Justice and sustainability must be the guiding principles of all our policies and our laws must also be aligned with these principles.  One of the most important steps in this direction is enacting suitable land reforms.

Recognising that the climate crisis is the result of relentless pursuit of economic growth disregarding ecological limits, profit maximisation must be rejected as the driving force of economic activities.  It should be replaced by considerations of security and minimisation of risk to all, especially to the poor.  Ecological restoration must now be undertaken on priority.  Rebuilding soil fertility, restoring water security and protecting biodiversity are important aspects of ecological restoration.  Our laws and policies must be changed so as to be aligned with this priority.  They should be guided by a holistic vision of a just and sustainable society. Knee-jerk reactions to situations arising from earlier shortsighted policies are to be avoided.  Further, alleviation of poverty itself must not be hostage to the desire of the rich to maximise profits.  It should follow from our constitutional commitment to right to life, dignity and equality of opportunities.  Amendments to Land Reforms must be guided by this constitutional commitment and the urgency of ecological restoration.

Agriculture must no longer be meant just for producing food but must also be an integral part of ecological restoration.  Seen from this point of view, it must not be an economic activity driven by maximisation of return on investment.  Land must not be a commodity but should be considered as commons if anyone who wishes to do farming, not just for producing food but as part of a project of ecological restoration, is to have access to it.  Ecological restoration must be a mission and must attract not just those who have left farming but also other people who wish to participate in it. Ideally, land use planning must be done based on considerations of ecological sustainability, taking micro-watersheds as units.  There should be usufruct rights for permissible use of land.  Usufruct rights must be given preferably to cooperatives.  The size of land holdings must be what is optimum for sustainable, climate-resilient agriculture.

Value addition from farming must be evaluated not just from the economic value of the produce but also on the ecological value of restoring soil fertility, water security and biodiversity.  There must be a policy to train farmers in agro-ecological methods and farmers should be paid for doing restoration work.  Scientists must be consulted to device a rational method of compensating farmers for ecological restoration.  The possibility of strengthening programmes like NREGA for undertaking such work must be considered.  This has the potential to not just stop migration of farmers due to ecological degradation but even encourage them to return to their places to participate in restoration.  This work, being of the highest priority, should not suffer from paucity of funds.  Transparency and monitoring by local bodies must prevent corruption.  Taxation on all economic activities that are extractive in nature must be used for raising funds for the mission of ecological restoration.  The guarantee of security offered to farmers must be sufficient to wean them away from demanding subsidies and populist policies.

The policies suggested here will not find easy acceptance but are based on the realities of climate crisis and unacceptable economic disparities.  Changes in our laws and policies must at least proceed in this direction.  Policies leading to consolidation of land in the hands of powerful people or corporations should not be allowed at any cost since it will lead to greater economic inequality as well as further ecological destruction through the use of extractive practices in agriculture.  Using an ordinance to implement such a policy amounts to a fraud on the constitution and on the people of the nation.

  • Shreekumar

(Formerly taught chemical engineering at NITK Surathkal, doing farming as part of a sustainable lifestyle)

Sangatya Commune, Nakre, Karkala Taluk, Udupi District, Karnataka 576 117


Phone: 94803 46081

ಭೂ ಹರಣದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಗ್ರಾಮಸ್ಥರೇ ಸಿಡಿದೇಳಬೇಕು

‘ಭೂಸುಧಾರಣಾ ಕಾಯ್ದೆಗೆ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ಮಾಡಿ, ಯಾರು ಬೇಕಾದರೂ ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು ಎಂದಾಗಿಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ ಊಹಿಸಕ್ಕೇ ಸಾಧ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಯಾವೋನಾದರೂ ಬಂಡವಾಳಗಾರ ಬಂದು ನಮ್ಮ ಭೂಮಿಗೆ ಒಂದಕ್ಕೆರಡು ಬೆಲೆ ಕಟ್ಟಿಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಸುತ್ತಮುತ್ತ ಅನೇಕ ರೈತರು ಭೂಮಿ ಮಾರಿ ಬಿಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆಗ ಮಧ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೇರಿಕೊಂಡ ನಾನೂ ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡದೆ ಬೇರೆ ದಾರಿಯೇ ಇರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ’. ಮೈಸೂರು ಭಾಗದ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ ವಿಜೇತ ಸಾವಯವ ಕೃಷಿಕರೊಬ್ಬರು ಬಹಳ ನೋವಿನಿಂದ ಹೇಳಿದ ಮಾತಿದು. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ತಲೆಮಾರುಗಳಿಂದ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇಸಾಯ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಬಂದಿದೆ. ಭೂಮಿ ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡುವ ಒತ್ತಡಕ್ಕೆ ಸಿಲುಕುವ ರೈತರ ಅಸಹಾಯಕತೆ, ಅವರು ಒಳಗಾಗುವ ಆಘಾತ ಊಹಿಸಲಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಈಗ ಯಾರು ಬೇಕಾದರೂ ಏಕ್‍ದಂ 216 ಎಕರೆ ಭೂಮಿ ಸರಾಗವಾಗಿ ಕೊಂಡುಬಿಡಬಹುದು ಎನ್ನುವ ವಿಚಾರ ರೈತರಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ದಿಗಿಲು ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸುತ್ತಿದೆ.

ಕೃಷಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಸರಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದಿದ್ದರೆ, ಕೃಷಿಯನ್ನು ನೆಚ್ಚಿ ಬದುಕಬಹುದೆನ್ನುವ ಭರವಸೆಯನ್ನು ಮೂಡಿಸಿದ್ದರೆ ಯಾವ ರೈತರೂ ಜಮೀನು ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡುವ ಒತ್ತಡಕ್ಕೆ ಒಳಗಾಗುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ, ಕೃಷಿ ಲಾಭದಾಂiುಕವಲ್ಲ; ಅದರಲ್ಲೂ ಮಳೆಯಾಶ್ರಿತ ಜಮೀನುಗಳು, ಸಣ್ಣ ಹಿಡುವಳಿಗಳು ಆದಾಯ ತರಲಾರವು; ಇಂತಹ ರೈತರು ಕೃಷಿಯನ್ನು ಬಿಡಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ದಶಕಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಾಲದಿಂದ ರೈತರ ಮೇಲೆ ತೀವ್ರ ಒತ್ತಡ ತರಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಸರ್ಕಾರಗಳು, ರಾಜಕಾರಣಿಗಳು, ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು, ವಿದ್ವಾಂಸರು ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಇದನ್ನೇ ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾ ಬರುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಲ್ಲಿ ರೈತರನ್ನು ರಕ್ಷಿಸಬೇಕಾಗಿದ್ದ ಕೃಷಿ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯಗಳು, ಸಂಬಂಧಪಟ್ಟ ಇಲಾಖೆಗಳು ರೈತರಿಂದ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಬೇರ್ಪಟ್ಟು ತಮ್ಮ ಪಾಡಿಗೆ ಹಾಯಾಗಿವೆ. ಇವರು ರೈತರೊಡನೆ ಸಹಪಾಠಿಗಳಾಗಿ ಬೆರೆತು, ಪರಿಸರದೊಂದಿಗೆ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದರೆ ಇಂದು ಕೃಷಿ ಲೋಕದ ಸ್ವರೂಪವೇ ಬೇರೆಯಾಗಿರುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಆಳುವ ವರ್ಗದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಅಂಗಗಳೂ ಸೇರಿಕೊಂಡು ಕೃಷಿ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅಧೋಗತಿಗೆ ತಳ್ಳಿ ಈಗ, ‘ನಿಮಗೆ ಕೃಷಿ ಲಾಭದಾಯಕವಲ್ಲ, ನೀವು ಜಮೀನು ಮಾರಿಕೊಳ್ಳಿ, ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ದುಡ್ಡು ಕೊಡುವವರನ್ನು ಕರೆತರುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ’ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೂ ಮೊದಲು ‘ಮಾದರಿ ಗುತ್ತಿಗೆ ಕಾಯಿದೆ- 2016ನ್ನು ತಂದು, ‘ರೈತರು ಬೇಸಾಯ ಮಾಡದೆ ಪಾಳು ಬಿಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಭೂಮಿಯನ್ನು ಗುತ್ತಿಗೆ ಕೊಡಿ’ ಎಂದು ಬೆದರಿಸಿದ ಸರ್ಕಾರ, ಈಗ ಅದನ್ನು ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡಿ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಿದೆ.

ಭೂ ಸುಧಾರಣಾ ಕಾಯಿದೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕಕ್ಕೆ, ಒಂದು ಹೆಮ್ಮೆಯ ಕಿರೀಟವಿದ್ದಂತೆ. ‘ಉಳುವವನೇ ಭೂಮಿ ಒಡೆಯ’, ‘ರೈತರಲ್ಲದವರು ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಖರೀದಿಸುವ ಹಾಗಿಲ್ಲ’ ಎಂಬೆರಡು ಅಂಶಗಳು ಸಣ್ಣ-ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ರೈತರಿಗೆ ಶ್ರೀರಕ್ಷೆಯಿದ್ದಂತೆ. ರೈತರ ಸುದೀರ್ಘ ಹೋರಾಟ, ತ್ಯಾಗಗಳ ಫಲ ಇದು. ಅದನ್ನು ಒಂದೇ ಬೀಸಿಗೆ ನೆಲಸಮಮಾಡಿಬಿಡುವುದೆಂದರೆ!. ಈ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಇವತ್ತಿನದಲ್ಲ. ಈ ಹಿಂದೆ ಅಧಿಕಾರದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಪಕ್ಷಗಳು ವಿಚಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಸ್ತಕ್ಷೇಪ ಮಾಡಿವೆ. ಮಾನ್ಯ ದೇವೇಗೌಡರು ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿಗಳಿದ್ದಾಗ, 1995ರಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದ ‘ಹೊಸ ಕೃಷಿ ನೀತಿ’ ಯಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಕೃಷಿಕರಲ್ಲದವರಿಗೆ ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಅವಕಾಶ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಡಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆದರೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಪುಷ್ಪ ಕೃಷಿ, ಅಕ್ವಾಕಲ್ಚರ್ (ಜಲಚರ ಸಾಕಣೆ)ಗಳಿಗೆ ಮಿತಿಗೊಳಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆಗ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಆಸುಪಾಸಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಹೂಬೇಸಾಯದ ಹೆಸರಲ್ಲಿ ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿಗಳು ಬಿಕರಿಯಾದ ರೀತಿ ದಿಗಿಲು ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸುವಂತಿತ್ತು. ಆಗ ಬಂಡವಾಳಿಗರು ಕೊಂಡ ಜಮೀನುಗಳು ಈಗ ಲೇ-ಔಟ್‍ಗಳಾಗಿ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ‘ಹಿರಿಮೆ’ಯ ಗರಿಗಳಾಗಿವೆ. ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇದ್ದ ಆದಾಯ ಮಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಎರಡು ಲಕ್ಷಕ್ಕೆ ಗೊತ್ತುಪಡಿಸಿದ್ದೂ ಆಗಲೇ.

ಮುಂದೆ 2014ರಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾನ್ಯ ಸಿದ್ಧರಾಮಯ್ಯನವರ ಸರ್ಕಾರ, ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇದ್ದ ಆದಾಯ ಮಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಎರಡು ಲಕ್ಷದಿಂದ ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತೈದು ಲಕ್ಷಕ್ಕೆ ಏರಿಸಿತು. ಅದರ ಒಂದು ಫಲಶ್ರುತಿಯೆಂದರೆ, ಸೋಲಾರ್ ಫಲಕಗಳನ್ನು ಹಾಕುವ ನೆಪದಲ್ಲಿ ರೈತರ ಜಮೀನನ್ನು ವ್ಯಾಪಕವಾಗಿ ಕಬಳಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಪ್ರಾರಂಭವಾದದ್ದು. ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತೈದು ವರ್ಷಗಳಷ್ಟು ದೀರ್ಘ ಕಾಲಿಕ ಗುತ್ತಿಗೆಗೆ ರೈತರ ಜಮೀನುಗಳನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯಲು ಬಂಡವಾಳಿಗರಿಗೆ ಅನುವು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಡಲಾಯಿತು. ರೈತರ ಮೇಲೆ ಇನ್ನಿಲ್ಲದ ಒತ್ತಡ ತಂದು ಇವರು ವಶಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ಈ ಜಮೀನುಗಳು ಇನ್ಯಾವತ್ತೂ ರೈತರ ಕೈಸೇರುವ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ.

ಇದೀಗ ಕೋವಿಡ್ ಲಾಕ್ಡೌನ್‍ನಿಂದ ತತ್ತರಿಸಿಹೋಗಿ ಇನ್ನೂ ಬಿತ್ತನೆ ಮಳೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಾಯುತ್ತಾ ಸೋತ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ರೈತರಿರುವಾಗ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಸಾ ್ವಂತನ ತರುವ ಯಾವುದೇ ಕಾರ್ಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಮುಂದಾಗದೆ ಭೂಮಿ ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡುವ ಈ ಆಮಿಷ! ‘ಕೃಷಿ ಮಾಡಲಾರದ ಅತಂತ್ರ ಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ರೈತರು, ಕೃಷಿಯನ್ನು ಲಾಭದಾಯಕವಾಗಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಆಕಾಂಕ್ಷೆ ಹೊಂದಿgುವ ಆಸಕ್ತರಿಗೆ ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಇದು ಅವಕಾಶ. ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಹಸಿರು ವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವುದರಿಂದ ಬೇರೆ ಉದ್ಯಮಗಳಿಗೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಬಳಸುವ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲ, ಕೃಷಿ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಏನೂ ಮಾಡಲು ಸಾದ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ’ ಎಂದು ಕಂದಾಯ ಸಚಿವ ಆರ್. ಅಶೋಕ್ ಅವರು ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕವಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಿಕೆ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ತಮಾಷೆಯೆಂದರೆ, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಣ್ಣ ಕೈಗಾರಿಕೆಗಳ ಸಂಘ(ಕಾಸಿಯಾ)ದ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು, ‘ನಾವು ಭೂಮಿ ಖರೀದಿಸಲು ಕೆಎಸ್‍ಐಡಿಸಿ, ಕೆಐಎಡಿಬಿಎಗಳಿಗೆ ಅಲದಾಡಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ನಾವೇ ಖರೀದಿಸಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಸದಸ್ಯರಿಗೆ ಹಂಚುವುದರಿಂದ ಸಮಯ, ಶ್ರಮ ಉಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. ಈ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಾವು ಪ್ರಸ್ತಾಪ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದ್ದೆವು. ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಸ್ಪಂದಿಸಿದೆ. ಇದರಿಂದ ಕೈಗಾರಿಕೆಗಳ ಬೆಳವಣಿಗೆಗೆ ಅನುಕೂಲವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ’. ಎಂದು ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕವಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಈ ಮಟ್ಟಕ್ಕೆ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ತನ್ನ ಜನತೆಯ ಕಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಮಣ್ಣೆರೆಚುವುದೆಂದರೆ!

‘ನಿರುದ್ಯೋಗಿ ಕೃಷಿ ಪದವೀಧರರು ಹಳ್ಳಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಹಿಂದಿರುಗಿ ಕೃಷಿ ಆಧಾರಿತ ಉದ್ದಿಮೆ ಸ್ಥಾಪಿಸಲು ಇದು ಅವಕಾಶ ಒದಗಿಸುತ್ತದೆ’ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಕಂದಾಯ ಸಚಿವರ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಕಣ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನ ಹೇಳಿಕೆ. ಉದ್ದಿಮೆಗಳನ್ನು ಸ್ಥಾಪಿಸಲು ಬೇಕಾದ ಭೂಮಿಗಾಗಿಯೇ ಕೆಐಎಡಿಬಿ(ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಕೈಗಾರಿಕಾ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಮಂಡಳಿ) ಇದೆಯಲ್ಲ. ಇದುವರೆಗೆ ಕೆಐಎಡಿಬಿ ಸ್ವಾಧೀನಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ಜಮೀನಿನ ಬಹುಭಾಗ ಬಳಕೆಯಾಗದೆ ಉಳಿದಿರುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸರ್ಕಾರಗಳೂ ಆಗಾಗ್ಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಂಡೇ ಬಂದಿವೆ. ಆದರೆ ಈ ಭೂಮಿಯನ್ನು ಬಳಸಬೇಕೆಂದರೆ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ‘ಭೂಸ್ವಾಧೀನ, ಪುನರ್ವಸತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಪುನರ್ನೆಲೆ ಕಾಯಿದೆ-2013ರ’ ಕಟ್ಟುನಿಟ್ಟಿನ ಕಟ್ಟಳೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಒಳಗಾಗಬೇಕು. ಕೈಗಾರಿಕೆಯ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಮತ್ತು ಪಾರಿಸಾರಿಕ ದುಷ್ಪರಿಣಾಮದ ಅಂದಾಜು ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. ಇದರ ಬದಲು ನೇರವಾಗಿ ಭೂಮಿ ಕೊಂಡುಬಿಟ್ಟರೆ ಯಾರ ಮರ್ಜಿಯೂ ಇರುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಹುನ್ನಾರ. ಅಷ್ಟಾಕ್ಕೂ ಕೃಷಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅತೀವ ಆಸಕ್ತಿ ಇರುವವರಿಗೆ, ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ರೈತರು ಪಾಳು ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಎನ್ನಲಾದ 22 ಲಕ್ಷ ಹೆಕ್ಟೇರ್ ಬೇಸಾಯ ಭೂಮಿಯನ್ನು ದೀರ್ಘ ಕಾಲಿಕ ಗುತ್ತಿಗೆಗೆ ಕೊಡುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಯೋಚಿಸಬಹುದಲ್ಲ.

ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಇನ್ನೂ ಒಂದು ಮುಖ್ಯ ವಿಚಾರವಿದೆ. ಭೂಸುಧಾರಣಾ ಕಾಯಿದೆಯಡಿ ರೈತರಲ್ಲದವರು ಭೂಮಿ ಖರೀದಿಸಲು ಅವಕಾಶವಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದರೂ, ಐವತ್ತು ಲಕ್ಷ ಎಕರೆ ಭೂಮಿ ರೈತರ ಕೈತಪ್ಪಿ ಕೃಷಿಯೇತರ ಉದ್ದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಪರಿವರ್ತನೆಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಜಮೀನು ಖರೀದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭೂ ಸುಧಾರಣಾ ಕಾಯ್ದೆ 79ಎ ಮತ್ತು 79 ಬಿ ಕಲಂನ ನಿಯಮಾವಳಿ ಉಲ್ಲಂಘನೆಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ ಕಂದಾಯ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಸುಮಾರು 83,171 ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ದಾಖಲಿಸಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಇತ್ಯರ್ಥ ಆಗದಿರುವ 12,231 ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳಿವೆ. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಸುತ್ತಮುತ್ತಲೇ ‘ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯ ವಸತಿ ಮಹಾಮಂಡಲಿ’ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ವಿವಿಧ ನೌಕರರ ಗೃಹ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ ಸಹಕಾರ ಸಂಘಗಳು ಭೂ ಸುಧಾರಣಾ ಕಾಯ್ದೆಯ 79ಎ ಮತ್ತು 79 ಬಿ ಕಲಂ ಉಲ್ಲಂಘಿಸಿ ಸುಮಾರು ಹತ್ತು ಸಾವಿರ ಕೋಟಿ ರೂ ಬೆಲೆಯ 5,027 ಎಕರೆ ಕೃಷಿ ಭೂಮಿಯನ್ನು ಮಧ್ಯವರ್ತಿಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ಎಕರೆಗೆ ಒಂದೂವರೆ-ಎರಡು ಕೋಟಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟು ಖರೀದಿಸಿರುವುದು ಬಹಿರಂಗವಾಗಿದೆ. ಪ್ರತಿ ಹಂತದಲ್ಲೂ ಇವು ಸರ್ಕಾರವನ್ನು ವಂಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಹಿಂದಿನ ಯಾವ ಸರ್ಕಾರಗಳು ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಂಡಿಲ್ಲ. ಇಂತಹ 17,574 ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳು ದಾಖಲಾಗಿದ್ದರೆ, 5,490 ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಯಿದೆ ಉಲ್ಲಂಘನೆ ಆಗಿರುವುದು ದೃಢಪಟ್ಟಿದೆ. ಈ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಇತ್ಯರ್ಥವಾಗದ ಪ್ರಕರಣಗಳನ್ನೆಲ್ಲಾ ನ್ಯಾಯ ಸಮ್ಮತಗೊಳಿಸಿಬಿಡುವ ದುರುದ್ದೇಶ ಈ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಲವಾಗಿ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದೆ.

ರೈತರಿಗೆ ಭೂಮಿ ಎನ್ನುವುದು ಆಸ್ತಿಗಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಸುರಕ್ಷತಾ ಭಾವ ತಂದುಕೊಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಜೀವಮಾನವಿಡೀ ದುಡಿದು ನಾಲ್ಕಾರು ಎಕರೆ ಜಮೀನು ಕೊಂಡುಬಿಟ್ಟಾಗ ರೈತರಿಗಾಗುವ ಸಂತೋಷ, ಸಂಭ್ರಮ, ಸುರಕ್ಷತಾ ಭಾವ ವರ್ಣಿಸಲಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಅಂಥದ್ದರಲ್ಲಿ ಏಕಾಏಕಿ ಬಂಡವಾಳಿಗನೊಬ್ಬ ಕಣ್ಣೆದುರೇ ನೂರಾರು ಎಕರೆ ಜಮೀನನ್ನು ಆಕ್ರಮಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆಂದರೆ ಹೇಗಾಗಬೇಡ! ಹಾಗಾಗಕೂಡದು ಎಂದರೆ, ಪ್ರತಿಯೊಂದು ಗ್ರಾಮದ ರೈತರೂ, ಈ ಊರಿನ ಜಮೀನು ನಮ್ಮ ರೈತರಿಗೆ ಸೇರಿದ್ದು, ಅದನ್ನು ಬಂಡವಾಳಿಗರಿಗೆ ಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಅವಕಾಶ ಕೊಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಘೋಷಿಸಬೇಕು. ಪ್ರತಿ ಗ್ರಾಮದ ಪ್ರವೇಶದಲ್ಲೇ, ‘ರೈತರ ಭೂಮಿ ಕಬಳಿಸುವವರಿಗೆ ಪ್ರವೇಶವಿಲ್ಲ’ ಎಂದು ಫಲಕ ಹಾಕಿ, ಕಣ್ಗಾವಲಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಅತಿಕ್ರಮಣಕಾರರಿಗೆ ಬಹಿಷ್ಕಾರ ಹಾಕಬೇಕು. ಭೂ ಕಬಳಿಕೆಯ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಗ್ರಾಮಸ್ಥರ ಕಾರ್ಯಪಡೆ ಸಿದ್ಧವಾಗಬೇಕು. ಅದಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ನಾವು ನೀವೆಲ್ಲಾ ಸನ್ನದ್ಧರಾಗೋಣ.

  • ವಿ. ಗಾಯತ್ರಿ, ಸಂಪಾದಕಿ, ‘ಸಹಜ ಸಾಗುವಳಿ’ ದ್ವೈಮಾಸಿಕ ಪತ್ರಿಕೆ



The recent proposal to amend Karnataka’s land reform Act and the debates around it require us to assess the previous Act and what the implications are of the proposed one. Promulgated at a time of significant attempts to address the widespread distress in the countryside, the Karnataka Land Reforms Act of 1961, and subsequent amendments especially in 1974, sought to protect the land of small and marginal farmers and the agricultural economy as a whole by preventing predatory capital, especially industrial, urban capital, from expropriating land and also pauperising the peasantry.  The results have been mixed; while the structure of agricultural land holding has not been significantly dented, widespread dispossession of land and displacement of small and marginal landholders have not taken place. But there have been several other negative fallouts and distortions that the Act and the subsequent amendments have created. Primary among these is the fact that the ineligibility of all non-agriculturists to purchase agricultural land has created not only a bureaucratic trap but has enhanced the range of corruption related to land dealings. The state, and in reality the different political players, have used this blockage to create new rules and processes that bypass such regulation. The processes under which land is acquired and then allocated to industries, institutes, and persons etc have all become sources and strategies to strengthen crony capitalism and corrupt the government and elected representatives.  As a result, the state has lost revenue and the real beneficiaries have been big political players, crony capitalists, real estate magnates, a land mafia, and fly by night entrepreneurs. Genuine buyers, especially those from urban and non-agricultural backgrounds, have had to go through a bureaucratic maze and unsavoury middle men to access land or in many cases have had to put to rest their dreams of being in agriculture or accessing land for other productive purposes.  Worse yet, the farming community itself has suffered from the poor implementation, legal distortions, and bureaucratic burdens of the Act.  Genuine farmers have not been able to expand their holdings to an optimum size, small holders have not been sell land to ‘out-siders’, and a mangled land market has resulted in benefiting middle persons and agents.  Take for instance the way in which small holders, who are unable to cultivate their own land due to financial and or personal constraints, have been forced to enter into ‘lease farming’. As lease holders they have submitted their land to larger farmers or entrepreneurial cultivators who then use their land for limited periods while undertaking extractive agriculture on these plots. The result has been that this is a reversed tenancy with capitalists as tenants and the owners rendered into becoming coolies on their own land.  The ecological devastation on these lands, seen primarily in the leased plots in which turmeric, ginger, bananas and a range of vegetables are grow is only one glaring example. Issues and trends such as these are not addressed and instead the focus seems to be on only facilitating a land market primarily for big capitalists and questionable entrepreneurs.

That the Act has created more tensions than protected the interests of agriculturists is visible in the fact that a large volume of legal cases are now pending in the courts and many citizens have become victims of the endless legal quagmire. Hence, there is a need to revisit this Act and to consider ways in which the interests of the most marginalised sections of agricultural society, the need to support the rural economy, and assure food security, and the need for justifiable and economically viable land access to non-rural citizens can be undertaken.

There is need for us to recognise that the agricultural economy itself has been in retrogression since several years and the impacts of climate change, marked by widespread droughts and periodic floods, have devastated vast stretches of the state’s hinterland. Added to this must be concerns related to what the C-19 pandemic, and the economic and social fallout of the lockdown flag as urgent issues. For one, the outbreak of the pandemic and the past recurring epidemics indicate that human despoliation of natural resources and big factory food production are the reasons for the start and spread of such viruses.  As research has consistently indicated, small-scale and diversity-based production systems mean that small farmers are the real stewards of biodiversity and of food production.  Given these facts, it is important that legislative measures seek to promote policies and programmes that address these issues and not promote the use of land as primarily a commodity for big, industrialised, capitalist production.

The recently proposed amendment to Karnataka’s land reform Act that seeks to make land available to all, in terms of facilitating new economies and opportunities, is myopic and misleading. It overlooks the extent to which land markets are susceptible to speculation and the extent to which big capital can override the long-term interests of small-holders.  Instead of this free-for-all policy which will only result in further pauperisation of rural small-holders, it is important that the government formulate policies that are based on parameters and norms that discourage a speculative land economy but which can offer the possibility of land ownership to genuine persons (from any sector or background) who meet economic, ecological and social criteria.  Missing in the proposed amendment are any mention of such criteria and instead simplistic and blanket assertions of catching up with new types of production, catering to the needs of the IT and BT sector persons, etc have been made.  

The amendment itself needs to prioritise the types of new rural-urban and agro-home/cottage/co-operative production systems that need to come into being and which challenge the existing sharp divides between them.  Despite the potential that co-operatives and farmer producer organisations have in addressing the problems faced by the majority of small and marginal farmers, new land policies seek to only promote the interests of big capital. In addition, no mention is made about protecting forests and biodiversity rich zones, promoting agriculture that is based on agro-climatic zones and which can be both climate resilient and market sensible, or enabling new production units that respect labour.

In this context of seeking alternative and integrated policies and programmes, we must realise that our current political dispensation is incapable of representing the interests of people. For long now politicians have built their own political and capital empires by twisting the limitations of agricultural and land policies to their interests. Most farmer organisations have also been myopic and they have not gone beyond making demands for moratorium on loans, free electricity, and subsidies for agricultural inputs. Hence it is time for people; for farmers, civil society members, and active citizens to come together to forge an alternative perspective that can facilitate appropriate policy and programmes to support the long-term interests of a majority of people. At this historical moment when the impact of C-19 requires us to rethink all dominant forms of economic structures, models and ideas, it is important that we seek alternatives which address widespread and intense problems of extreme economic inequalities, ecological risks, and health threats.  It is time for us to recognise and assert that land is not merely a commodity, and that its usage and our relationship to it must assure us all social justice, ecological sustainability and economic stability.


A.R.Vasavi is a Social Anthropologist.

ಹಣ ಉಳ್ಳವರಿಗೆ ಭೂಮಿ, ಒಂದು ವಿವೇಚನಾರಹಿತ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ – ಜಯದೇವ.ಜಿ.ಎಸ್

ಹಣಬಲ ಇದ್ದವರೆಲ್ಲ ವ್ಯವಸಾಯದ ಭೂಮಿಕೊಂಡು ಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದೆಂಬ ಕಾನೂನು ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿಒಂದು ವೇಳೆ ಊರ್ಜಿತವಾದರೆ ವಿನಾಶಕಾರಿಯಾದೀತು. ರಾಗಿ-ಜೋಳ ಬೆಳೆಗಳು ಕಡುಲೋಭಿ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿಗಳ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಲಾಭದಾಯಕವಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಇದು ಕೋಂಟ್ಯಾಂತರ ಜನಗಳ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಆಹಾರ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ಮರೆಯುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ.

ವ್ಯವಸಾಯದ ಒಲವಿಲ್ಲದ, ಹಣವನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ಪ್ರೀತಿಸುವ ಶ್ರೀಮಂತರ ಕೈಗೆ ಬಡವರ ಭೂಮಿ ಸಿಕ್ಕರೆ ಅದರ ಪರಿಣಾಮಗಳೇನು?

ಈ ಕಾನೂನು ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ಸೂಚಿಸುತ್ತಿರುವವರಿಗೆ ಇದರ ದೂರಗಾಮಿ ಪರಿಣಾಮಗಳನ್ನು ಊಹಿಸಲು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆಯೆ?

ತತ್ಕಾಲಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ಸರ್ಕಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಹಣಒದಗಿಸಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ದಶಕಗಳ ತರುವಾಯ ನಮ್ಮ ನಾಡಿನ ವ್ಯವಸಾಯಿಚಿತ್ರಣ ಹೇಗಿರುತ್ತದೆ?

ಕೃಷಿ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನಾಶ, ವೈವಿಧ್ಯಮಯ ಆಹಾರಬೆಳೆಗಳ ನಾಶ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಈ ಸಸ್ಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿರುವ, ಸಸ್ಯಗಳ ರೋಗನಿರೋಧಕ ಶಕ್ತಿಗೆ ಕಾರಣವಾದ ಜೀನ್‍ಗಳ ನಾಶ. ಅಲ್ಲದೆನಮ್ಮರೈತರ ನಡುವೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಜೀವಂತವಾಗಿರುವ ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ತಳಿಗಳು ಹೇಳಹೆಸರಿಲ್ಲದಾಗುವುದು ಖಂಡಿತ. ಏಕರೂಪ ಬೆಳೆಗಳು – ಏಕರೂಪ ಆಹಾರ ಪದ್ಧತಿ–ಏಕರೂಪ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ ಇದೆಲ್ಲದರ ಒಟ್ಟು ಪರಿಣಾಮ. ಜಾಗತೀಕರಣ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಗಳು ಪ್ರಾರಂಭವಾಗಿವೆ ನಿಜ; ಆದರೆ ಈ ತಿದ್ದಪಡಿ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಉಲ್ಬಣಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಲೋಭಿತನದ ಕೃಷಿಯಿಂದಾಗಿ ಪ್ರತಿವರ್ಷ ವ್ಯವಸಾಯಿಕ ಭೂಮಿ ನಿರುಪಯುಕ್ತವಾಗುತ್ತಿರುವುದನ್ನು ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ವರದಿಗಳು ತಿಳಿಸುತ್ತಿವೆ.

ಈ ಬಗೆಯ ಪ್ರಗತಿಯಿಂದ ನಾವು ಸಾಧಿಸಿದ್ದಾದರೂ ಏನು?ಆರ್ಥಿಕಧೃವೀಕರಣ, ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಲೇಹೋಗುವ ಬಡವ-ಬಲ್ಲಿದನ ಅಂತರ,ಅನೀತಿಯುತ ಗಳಿಕೆಯಿಂದ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ ವಿನಾಶಕಾರಿ ಸಂಪತ್ತು, ಮನಸ್ಸಿನೊಳಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಹೊರಗೆ ತಾಂಡವವಾಡುವ ಮಾಲಿನ್ಯ, ಇದೆಲ್ಲದರ ಪರಿಣಾಮವಾಗಿ ಹುಟ್ಟುವ ಹಿಂಸಾತ್ಮಕ ಸಮಾಜ.

ಈ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ತರುತ್ತಿರುವವರಿಗೆ ಗಾಂಧೀಕಳಕಳಿಯ ಸಮಾಜದ ‘ಕಟ್ಟಕಡೆಯಮನುಷ್ಯ’ ಕಾಣುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲವೆ?

ಬಡರೈತರ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆ ಪರಿಹಾರಮಾಡುವ ಬದಲುರೈತರನ್ನೇ ನಾಶಮಾಡುವ ಈ ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿ ವಿನಾಶಕಾರಿಯಾದದ್ದು.

ದಶಕದಿಂದೀಚೆಗೆ ಆಗುತ್ತಿರುವ ಕಾನೂನು ತಿದ್ದುಪಡಿಗಳಾಗಲಿ, ಪಾಲಿಸಿ ಬದಲಾವಣೆಗಳಾಲಿ ಬಡವರನ್ನು, ದುರ್ಬಲರನ್ನು ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಅಂಚಿಗೆ ತಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿವೆ. ಪ್ರಕೃತಿನಾಶದಗತಿ ತ್ವರಿತವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ. ನಾವು ಪ್ರಕೃತಿಮಾತೆಯ ಸ್ಥನದಿಂದ ಹಾಲುಕುಡಿಯಬೇಕೆ ಹೊರತು ರಕ್ತ ಹೀರುವ ರಕ್ತಪಿಪಾಸುಗಳಾಗಬಾರದು.

– ಜಯದೇವ.ಜಿ.ಎಸ್

ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತರು, ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ತಜ್ಞರು, ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘದ ಮಾರ್ಗದರ್ಶಕರು

Prasanna on unorganized labour

3, Jun’20 in National Webinar in memory of George Fernandes

Organized by George Fernandes Foundation & Institute of Social Science

I would like to point out that there are two aspects to this problem of unorganized labour or migrant labour. One is finding an immediate solution to the problem, which most politicians and social workers are working for: to give some succor to them, provide them with some relief, distribute food packets to them, arrange some transport for them to either go home or come back. I believe there is lot of efforts to get them back to the city so that we can once again put them into the machine, as its nuts and bolts.

The other aspect of the problem is that there is a larger issue connected to this. In the last couple of decades, it is becoming clearer and clearer that we need a paradigm shift, if we have to save our world. We need a paradigm shift, if we have to save our environment, our ecology, our social system, our political system and the moral system. Of course, we are better off than most other countries, in-terms of the philosophical aspect of the problem. Because after all, we have tried to introduce this paradigm shift in our Freedom Movement itself, under the leadership of Gandhi and many, many enlightened people; including J C Kumarappa and so many others. We tried to actually imagine a world which will be sustainable, natural and egalitarian. Of course, that dream did not come true, and we have almost seventy years of politics after that, in what we call the independent India. However, in Independent India we just did politics, and completely forgot about the constructive activity or constructive program or the construction of the society from within the society itself, by the people themselves.

Today, we have landed in this deep crisis because of that. The whole world too has done that. I think the paradigm shift I was talking about which is badly needed, is centered around, how we look at labour. I would say that we have to make a complete shift in our attitude towards labour, in our attitude towards the village people, in our attitude to the peasant, in our attitude to the weaver, the cobbler, every other, what I call as the handmaking person. We should treat them as the future, as technicians for a system of production of the future. Not just as somebody who should be given food, food packets or who should be taken care of for his travel back to his homeland. I am not romanticizing, when I say this, I know they have huge problems; I know villages have huge problems, our villages have become unbearable. But then, there is one aspect of the village which I call the handmaking aspect of village, which is still amazingly retained in India as opposed to most of the developed countries. We should go behind the migrant labour, back to their villages, and learn the hand skills from them, the handloom from them, the rain-fed agriculture from them and various other handmaking technologies from them. And then provide the systems that are developed in the big cities with much expense, much intellect over the last few decades. The city should provide the mind – the good mind – not the bad mind. And the village provides the body, the good body.  This way, I think it can be done.

I belong to an organization called Gram Seva Sangh, which is an organization of organizations. Constructive organizations, working and mostly centered in Karnataka, but also outside of Karnataka. What we are trying to do, is to create an atmosphere for what I talked above. We have coined the new term called “Sacred Economy”. Sacred Economy is actually the reformation of the Gandhian model of economy, or the model dependant on the handmaking systems. Why have we reformed it, remodeled it, it is because, in the 21st century it will be almost impossible to go back to the handmaking system suddenly. So we have said, alright, let us have a labour centric economy, but since we cannot completely rule out automation, we can have some of that too. So in Sacred Economy we fixed the proportion not more than 40% of automation, and not less than 60% of labour. In fact, in this proportion most of our MSME comes into the picture, which means most of what we call the semi organized labour and the small industries in cities also come into it. Therefore in the Sacred Economy, the fully handmaking system, E.g. Khadi becomes completely sacred, but the other systems progressively become less sacred, but stay within the gamut of sacred. This way if we have to persuade the Government to adopt Sacred Economy, so they do not need to break down the other systems of production. But then they need to give a policy advantage to the Sacred Sectors.

In fact we firmly believe, Sacred Economy is the solution for all the three ills we are dealing in this world. It solves the problem of equity, because lot of people now coming into the cities, because of loss of jobs in the villages, will now get sufficient jobs wherever they are living. This means, we will be creating a decentralized society which will be made of much smaller units. It solves the climate crisis because energy intensive industries are disincentivized and thereby a lot of wasteful consumption of energy comes down.

And thirdly, this constitutes a better economic model in the post-economic collapse era after Covid-19. Let us understand that the economy that is ruling the roost today, which we have termed as the Monster Economy, has died. Monster Economy is dead! In fact, we are saying that if you try to revive the monster economy, the only way to do so is to put it into a ventilator. Eventually it is going to collapse.

The notion of the sacred Economy is also a solution to the economic crisis facing the world. So I want to talk to, not just the ordinary people, but economists, and the business people, and tell them, “You forget about lots of profits! Work for smaller profits and a better way of life. From you, we seek all your great systems for production, logistics, distribution, etc. I respect the big industries for the systems that they have created. We will remodel those systems and provide them to the village people, to the small sectors, to make the small sector viable economic model. This is what Sacred Economy is!“

I would like to push for it as long-term strategy, to solve the problem of migrant labour. I am not against the short-term policy of giving them succor, even we have done it to a small extent. But let us not be stuck with short term measures like relief & succor. You know, then we will be just doing that. Today it will be Migrant labour, tomorrow it will be some other, third day it may be climate problem, monsoon coming, or something, Let us therefore actually put our efforts behind the serious paradigm shift which will make this world a better world!         

  • Prasanna

Social Activist, Theatre Person, Mentor of Gram Seva Sangh

Sacred Economy Fast Ends

Previous press releases:
10th April 2020: 
8th April 2020: 

Press Release – 17.04.2020

Sacred Economy Fast Ends – Prasanna

After eight days of fasting, I am concluding my fast, at 5 p.m. April 17, 2020.  This vow was taken with a limited purpose.  The purpose was not to protest against the current political regime, though they immensely deserve to be protested, but to introspect. Consequently several Gandhians, constructive activists and progressive thinkers, including myself, have engaged in a process of introspection and have arrived at a resolution.

Once the lockdown is lifted, we have decided to reach out to the hungry and the jobless. Whether they be migrant workers, village farmers, urban workers, weavers or cobblers, we will continue to raise our voice in their support, as most of us were already been doing. We will take this struggle forward. 

We are going to take up another task, a task of tremendous significance. There is going to be an insidious effort by the greedy vested interest to prop up the collapsed Monster Economy. The Monster Economy, as you all know, has already created hell for the poor as well as for nature. We shall prevent any such effort at resurrecting the Monster. Be it from the Authorities, Industrialists, the World Bank, or Global Economies, we will declare a non-violent war against them if they try to do so.

During the fast you have given us great moral support. The police have also been very civil. The media has shown restraint in publishing about the fast, because of the Carona emergency. We are grateful to all of them and specially to you.


Theatre Activist and Playwright

                Gram Seva Sangh

For more details see this link:

Gram Seva Sangh | Email ID: | Mobile: 998004391

ಉಪವಾಸ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಮುಕ್ತಾಯ

ಹಿಂದಿನ ಪತ್ರಿಕಾ ಪ್ರಕಟಣೆಗಳು:

ಪತ್ರಿಕಾ ಬಿಡುಗಡೆ – 17.04.2020

 ಎಂಟು ದಿನಗಳ ನಂತರ ನಾನು, ಇಂದು ಸಂಜೆ, 17 ಏಪ್ರಿಲ್ 2020, ಉಪವಾಸ ವ್ರತವನ್ನು ಕೊನೆಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಒಂದು ಸೀಮಿತ ಉದ್ದೇಶದಿಂದ ವ್ರತವನ್ನು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಪ್ರಭುತ್ವವನ್ನು ಅಲುಗಾಡಿಸುವುದಾಗಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ ಉದ್ದೇಶ. ಆತ್ಮವಲೋಕನವಾಗಿತ್ತು. ನಾನೂ ಮೊದಲ್ಗೊಂಡು ಹಲವು ಗಾಂಧಿವಾದಿಗಳು ರಚನಾತ್ಮಕ ಕಾರ್ಯಕರ್ತರು ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಗತಿಪರ ಚಿಂತಕರು ಈ ಕೆಲವು ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಆತ್ಮಾವಲೋಕನ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇವೆ ಹಾಗೂ ನಾವೊಂದು ದೃಢನಿರ್ಧಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  ಲಾಕ್‍ಡೌನ್ ತೆರವುಗೊಂಡ ನಂತರದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೀದಿಗಿಳಿಯಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ, ಹಸಿದವರತ್ತ, ಕೆಲಸ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡಿರುವವರತ್ತ ತೆರಳಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  ಗುಳೆಎದ್ದ ಬಡವರಿರಲಿ, ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ರೈತನಿರಲಿ, ಪೇಟೆಯ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕನಿರಲಿ, ನೇಕಾರ ಚಮ್ಮಾರ ಯಾರೇ ಇರಲಿ ಅವರ ಪರವಾದ ದನಿ ಎತ್ತುವವರಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  ನಾವು ಹಿಂದಿನಿಂದಲೂ ನಡೆಸಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದಿರುವ ಬಡವರ ಪರವಾದ ಹೋರಾಟಗಳನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ದೃಡತೆಯಿಂದ ಮುನ್ನಡೆಸುವವರಿದ್ದೇವೆ. 

ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನೂ ಮಾಡಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  ಮಹತ್ತರವಾದ ಕಾರ್ಯವದು. ಕುಸಿದು ಬಿದ್ದಿರುವ ರಾಕ್ಷಸ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಗೂಟಕೊಟ್ಟು ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಗಳು ನಡೆಯಲಿವೆ.  ಬಡವರು ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಕೃತಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಇಷ್ಟೆಲ್ಲ ದೌರ್ಜನ್ಯ ಎಸಗಿ ನರಕ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಸಿದ ರಾಕ್ಷಸನನ್ನು ಮತ್ತೆ ಜೀವಂತವಾಗಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಮಾಡಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ ದುರಾಸೆಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದವರು.  ನಾವವರನ್ನು ತಡೆಯುವವರಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  ಪ್ರಭುತ್ವವಾಗಲಿ ಉದ್ಯಮಿಗಳಾಗಲಿ ವಲ್ರ್ಡ್ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕ್ ಆಗಲಿ ಅಮೇರಿಕೆಯಾಗಲಿ ಯಾರೇ ಆಗಲಿ, ದುರಾಸೆಯ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ನಡೆಸಿದರೆ ಅವರ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಅಹಿಂಸಾತ್ಮಕ ಯುದ್ಧ ಸಾರುವವರಿದ್ದೇವೆ.  
ಉಪವಾಸವ್ರತದ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ನೀವೆಲ್ಲ ನೈತಿಕ ಬೆಂಬಲ ನೀಡಿ ಸಹಕರಿಸಿದ್ದೀರಿ. ಪೋಲೀಸರು ಸೌಜನ್ಯದಿಂದ ನಡೆದುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇಂದಿನ ಸಂಕಟದ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಯಮ ಅಗತ್ಯವಾದ್ದರಿಂದ ಮಾಧ್ಯಮಗಳು ಸಂಯಮದಿಂದ ಸುದ್ಧಿ ಪ್ರಕಟಿಸಿವೆ.  ಇವರೆಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ನಾವು ಚಿರಋಣಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದೇವೆ.

  ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಮಾಹಿತಿಗೆ ಈ ಲಿಂಕ್ ಬಳಸಿ

ರಂಗಕರ್ಮಿ ಮತ್ತು ನಾಟಕಕಾರ,