1st Reply to DLDP Queries (22 March 1993)



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We are not quite as unaware of the implications of our measures as you seem to make out. Our vision is one shared with thousands of Coolie families in Bagepalli taluk even though we all accept different roles in actualising it. Thousands more in the extensions are continually getting drawn into what is developing into a fervent pitch.

We believe that the rural poor cannot wait for larger changes to completely happen before they act. If they do, it will already be too late. We refuse to accept the preordained position of inferiority in industrial society which seems to be reserved for them. They have to come out on top of events. We draw courage from the fact that our economy did not become a basket case before the country went in for structural adjustment. We believe that there still is room for our people to manoeuvre and shape a capitalism which itself has no preordained form.

For this to happen our people have to actualise every opportunity offered to them and search for those that are not. They have to come out of a 2,000 year old stagnation. Every single facet of their lives has to be reexamined. New values, attitudes and behavioural patterns have to be imbibed, new skills and techniques have to be learnt and new institutions have to be built. The very raison d’ĂȘtre and guiding principles of their lives have to change. That which needs to be preserved in the old order has to be taken forward and carefully instilled in the new communities without the shrouds of reasoning which earlier sustained it. Otherwise it will be lost for ever in ridicule and disregard. These traces of the old will give a distinct stamp of cultural identity on the new social organisations which will otherwise have no other semblance to the preceding.



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