Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Friday, February 17, 2017

More on Philanthropy in Kakrana

The demolition firm of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are in the news these days for decimating the opposition on the cricket field with their lethal spin and catapulting India to the top of the ICC Test Rankings. However, there is another demolition firm that is quietly going about decimating the seven decade old mal-development perpetrated on the Adivasis by successive Governments in independent India with their path breaking initiatives in the Rani Kajal School in Kakrana that also deserves equal if not greater spotlight. This is the powerful philanthropist combination of Swapan Bhattacharya (Swapanda) and Nagendra Subbakrishna (Noggy).
Ever since Arjun Venkatraman installed the wireless hop internet in Kakrana and detailed how it was possible to mule data to Kakrana on hard disks from Indore, Swapanda has been diligently downloading videos of educational material from the internet in Indore and carrying it on hard disks to Kakrana. There these videos are screened daily in the evening through a projector for all the students and staff to see. The content ranges from educational material to vocational material so that the students and staff can learn about ways to make things as well as learn their lessons. One such vocational set of videos which has been a great hit is on tailoring. These videos teach how to do tailoring from the basics to the advanced.
The problem however, was that there was only one very old manual sewing machine belonging to one of the staff in the school and so the interested students and staff could not practice what they saw in the videos. This is when the other partner of the demolition firm Noggy decided to step in!! He funded the purchase of a state of the art electric sewing machine from Indore. However, as is the case with any advanced technological intervention in Kakrana there were initial teething problems. The reputed USHA company which manufactures these machines has stipulated that their service agent will set up the machine and give an initial demonstration and only then will the service warranty for the machine hold. This service contract is outsourced by USHA to another company in Indore. Despite repeated reminders to the service agent he did not come to Kakrana which is 250 kms from Indore to set up the machine and give the initial demonstration for over one month.
Finally, the staff in Kakrana decided to take things into their own hands and start the machine themselves. The roped in a professional Adivasi tailor, Nakla, who has his shop near the school to help them. To cut a long story short, Nakla proved to be an expert and successfully set up the machine and sewed the first dress with it.
Swapanda has great plans of getting the staff and students in Rani Kajal to achieve such proficiency in tailoring that they can supply orders to garments firms in the future. Even if that may take some time, what can immediately happen is that the school uniforms for the next session can be prepared in the school itself instead of having to be bought from outside.
Whereas the demolition firm of Ashwin and Jadeja are involved in a highly unproductive activity that in the final analysis is only wasting scarce environmental resources, the demolition firm of Swapanda and Noggy on the other hand are increasing the productivity of one of the most marginalised communities in the world!!. 

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