For the first time since independence, a tax has been imposed on all handmade products. Khadi, handloom, handicrafts, all are taxed under the new Goods And Services Tax (GST) regime. Rural sector, already distressed, will take a turn for the worse with this regime. It is a topsy-turvy regime. Under this regime, Luxury products have become cheaper, while handmade has become expensive. Cars and cigarettes cost less, while a Khadi saree, a handloom kurta, a mat, pot and plough will cost more! We demand that all handmade products be made tax-free. Why? Read more about the Tax Denial Satyagraha to find out.
The Wire published an interview with Mark Lindley who had visited Gandhi Bhavan; an event co-hosted by Graama Seva Sangha. Read it here
We announce with pride that the second “Study Circle” session for Graama Seva Sangha was held on the 23rd of April, 2016 at GoodEarth Enclave, Kengeri. The session overall was successful in bringing together the registered GSS members and providing a forum to discuss and debate on various topics. We focussed predominantly on the topic of the study circle itself which was the reading of “Hind Swaraj” by Mahatma Gandhi.
The session commenced at 4.20pm after initial introductions. A short welcome and stage-setting was provided after which we proceeded to the reading of two chapters from “Hind Swaraj”, namely “What is true civilization?” and “How can India become free?”
After this session, we followed it up with discussions based on the chapters, the contexts in which they were written and their practical application or possibility of application in today’s context.
We also spent a few minutes discussing the cause, effect and potential actionable items for us regarding the spontaneous rebellion that Bangalore witnessed in the previous week, where Garment Industry workers took to the street to oppose the provident fund related move from the government.
We discussed the tendencies of peaceful protests to turn violent and the unfortunate situation that seem to be encouraging only violent protests to get attention.
The discussion also touched upon the topic of local and grassroots work that we all need to do (and continue doing in some cases) to uphold the spirit of Hind Swaraj. This included both the social and political movements which are closer to the people and ensures that the beneficiaries are the poorest of the poor.
Some of the challenges faced today by the members as well as other like-minded folks also was brought on the table; challenges that have their root in populist culture as well as an inherent cynicism that exists in the society. The discussions concluded yet again with the ever present hopes that groups such as Graama Seva Sangha would remain the platforms to overcome the challenges.
We closed the session with snacks and refreshments.
We announce with pride that the first ever “Study Circle” session for Graama Seva Sangha commenced on the 26th of March, 2016 at GoodEarth Enclave, Kengeri. The session overall was successful in bringing together the registered Graama Seva Sangha members and providing a forum to discuss and debate on various topics. We focussed predominantly on the topic of the study circle itself which was the reading of “Hind Swaraj” by Mahatma Gandhi.
The session commenced at 4.15pm after initial introductions. A short welcome and stage-setting was provided after which we proceeded to a “Purpose and Introduction” by Mr.Prasanna.
After a quick revisit on the genesis of Graama Seva Sangha, Mr.Prasanna talked about the current affairs that we face today such as growing intolerance and a general lack of social purpose. He also discussed the interconnectedness between the social issues we face today and the environmental impact. He recollected how the Badanavalu Satyagraha, through its emphasis on sustainable lifestyle embodied values that transcend personal and social growth and touch upon equity issues.
After this session, we proceeded to read two chapters from Hind Swaraj. We followed it up with discussions based on the chapters themselves constantly reminding oneself and each other about the foresightedness of Gandhiji and his ability to imagine a world that was distant to him at that point but would eventually turn out to be.
We closed the session with a demonstration of a “Book Charaka” by one of the members and a short introduction to the art and skill of spinning.
Mr.Prasanna then volunteered to read an additional chapter from Hind Swaraj and we closed the day with snacks and refreshments.