What is sustainability?
As far as it concerns us, the core of sustainability is simple living. Only a life of labour and a life close to nature can be sustainable. Every Prophet, every philosopher, had said so in the past. But we turned religion into mere tokenism. We continued to live an easy life full of accumulation and exploitation. Then came the automatic machine. This machine made easy life a thousand times easier; and accumulation and exploitation, thousand times worse. We think we have earned an endless life of pleasure, of growth, and of prosperity. But the bubble has burst.
Even science has conceded that the ecosystem is badly damaged; it has conceded that all living beings living on this earth, are living on a borrowed time. Badanawal satyagraha has a simple message; only a hand held device, if at all anything, can be sustainable.
Simple life of labour is not a “choice”, but a necessity. A necessity for human survival. Religion and science both have come together and are pointing this out.
Badanawal Khadi and Village industries centre is a symbol; a symbol for simple living and sustainable industry. Come to Badanawal as a prelude to changing your life style.
But People panic! Yes! People panic when they are told that in order to sustain life, the automatic machine needs to be decommissioned. They ask, “Why? What! How? From when?” They get worked up. “Machines are dear to us machine runs our life! Our language, expression, communication, culture… everything happens through machine!” Then they plead “Please! Can’t I atleast keep the useful machine? the mobile for example? the refrigerator? or the dialysis machine? the heart pump? How can you be so heartless”, they plead.
Panic won’t help you. Nobody is forcing you. No political dictator, nor an activist of the ludder party is on the prowl. Follow your own inner calling. Choose a machine that you can let go. And let go! Experience the wonderful feeling of “letting go”. Let one thing lead to another. You have forgotten that you have a good body and a sound nature.
Remember! The machine is not holding us. You are holding the machine. you can let go.
In a profound philosophical sense a machine is an antithesis to nature, more so the automatic machine. In the world of handheld machine, moral and ethical codes become operative. God can become operative. If you want to be good, you can be good. The automatic world has banished God even.
What is nature?
Nature is not something that is outside you. Nature is not forest alone. Nature is you! It is in you. What is being destroyed by the machine, is being destroyed in you. Machines prevent your inner nature from calling. Allow the inner nature to tell you what to do with the outer nature.
Come to Badanawal. Meet real people; before they get completely corrupted by the city. The poor are not entirely poor. We the city people are poor.
Badanawal is all about reality. Come and experience reality at Badanawal.
Can modern industry be sustainability?
No! modern industry Cannot be sustainable. Organizations? They can be sustainable, need not be sustainable. We would like this organization, to not fast work sustainability, but should in itself be sustainable. This entire campaign, we are hoping, shall run with the least expenditure of money and resources.
Who are we?
This movement started fifteen months back when the government of India tried to change the definition of handloom. They did that in order to surreptitiously declare powerloom fabrics as handloom fabric. We formed ourselves into an All India Federation of Handloom Organizations then. We run a Satyagraha for the protection of Handloom during the last year and a half. We have learnt a few lessons in the process. The Government, as also the industry, tried to defeat us by pitting the powerloom weaver against the handloom weaver. We realized that this is a standard tactic. They have pitted peasants against environmental activists, tribals against wild animals! In our anxiety we are becoming sectarian. We are becoming isolated, frustrated and eventually defeated. Badanwaal Satyagraha is a broad front. It is an attempt to connect with each other, to connect the consumer with the producer, the city dwellers with the villagers.
Anybody who eats should care for the farmer.
Anybody who wears a fabric should care for the weaver.
Anybody who maintains a garden should care for the forest.
Anybody who uses a water tap should care for the rivers.
Anybody who uses a gas stove should care for the fire wood.
Anybody who has something should care for those having nothing.
Is the peasant an enemy of the environment?
A peasant was not an enemy of the environment. A tribal was not an enemy of the forest. He knew when to grow which crop. He gave time for the earth to regenerate. He was in tune with nature. The farmer started using chemicals to imitate us as we started getting greedier, and they start growing crops faster; He started using machinery indiscriminately. He became a gambler. This has affected not just the environment but has pushed the him to suicide.
Are we against automation?
Yes we are. That is because we have a better plan for a better world.
Is this movement political?
It is political. But not in a party sense. It is a peoples’ movement.
Is the city an enemy of the village?
Yes. But not the city people. There is a strange movement happening there days. The village is moving towards the city. You move towards the village. City dwellers like you should adopt the village lifestyle and teach the village open mindedness and free thinking. But Remember! Do not carry machines with you.
What is peak oil?
Industry consumes energy. 80% of this consumption comes from fossil fuel, namely oil, natural gas and coal. Oil is the prime source. To extract oil you need to expend energy. When the oil wells are young and new, a hundred fold oil can be extracted by expending one unit of energy. That is great! This is what happened till about the sixties. But then, oil extraction peaked. Peaking means we had already consumed more than half the quality of oil available under the earth. After peaking, extraction cost increases; output decreases. This is what is happening now. Industry is in trouble. These troubles do not appear suddenly. It appears jerkily. Like an aging vehicle! There have been many signs. The last reaction came during the big recession of the 2008. That recession is not over yet. Not likely to get over. Oil prices shoot up, fluctuate, shoot up again. We are seeing fluctuations right now. Industry is things to negate the crisis. We are deep into peak oil crisis, But come to Badanawaal you will see that it is not the end of the world. It is a lovely beginning.
Is man independent?
No. Man is interdependent. This earth is interdependent. Agriculture is interdependent on forest weather conditions are interdependent on the ecosystem. Man shall have to, for example, learn to live with other beings. Man shall have to learn to write a few things! Nature is not oil, not is it minerals, nor is it mere resources. Nature is not meant for the exclusive consumption of man alone. Man should become smaller. Then, he she can survive better. Come to Badanawaal and become interdependent.