Bengaluru: On a day when the Supreme Court intervened and put a stay on the felling of trees in the Aarey forest of Mumbai, a unique ‘satyagraha’ is underway in Bengaluru where activists are demanding a ‘sacred economy’.
A sacred economy refers to a system of production that creates the maximum number of jobs with the least investment in capital and with least damage to environment. It calls for the system of production to utilise a minimum of 60 per cent human labour, along with 60 per cent local raw material and not more than 40 per cent automation.
The agitation that began on September 26 is being organised by the Gram Seva Sangha (GSS).
On Gandhi Jayanti, a numbers of activist took part in relay hunger strikes. Since October 6, prominent personalities, including theatre artist Prasanna, have been sitting on an indefinite hunger stir.
The 68-year old Gandhian, called the Anna Hazare of Bengaluru, says governments should stop growing cities, manufacturing cars and bailing out banks and indirectly create a ‘monster economy’.
"We have to talk about sacred economies and talk about labour and environment and its protection. It is our responsibility as well as the responsibility of the government, regardless of the political party in power, to protect jobs, be it of villagers or factory workers,” he says.
The group plans to make this the largest peaceful movement India has ever had. "Gandhi was killed by ignorance, we will revive him through our action,” Prasanna says.
According to a statement by the organisers, the contribution of sacred economies to the GDP is 70 per cent. The collapse of the present economy can be negated only if the sacred economies are strengthened.
The satyagraha intends to create moral pressure on people to consume less and consume products of sacred economies. The organisers want a similar moral pressure on all governments to invest in public resources, wherever and whenever possible, towards the strengthening of the sacred economy.
Vinod Vyasulu, chairperson of the expert committee of Gram Seva, says the organisation wants to help the government refinance and restructure various policies with regards to industry, agriculture, culture and language.
"The state is central to the implementation of the sacred economy. We shall try and provide expert help the government restructure the tax system, international obligations, industry, agriculture, craft, cultural and language policy. In simple we shall cooperate with the state in restructuring of our political economy, only if the state shows true commitment to the cause,” Vyasulu says.