Karnataka

Humanity cannot stay angry forever: Prasanna

File photo of theatre personality and activist Prasanna.

File photo of theatre personality and activist Prasanna.  

Artiste and activist Prasanna has not only been a champion of the handloom khadi, but is also a proponent of village-centric economy and is working on multiple projects based on Gandhian thought. Earlier this week, he launched a satyagraha for a ‘sacred economy’ with focus on sustainable practices.

Excerpts from The Hindu’s interview with him:

Is a Gandhian economy relevant today?

As more people — communists, radical groups and even those among the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — are rethinking Mahatma Gandhi, most of them are seeking a political solution in him. But what we need to find in him is an economic solution. Gandhi integrated the moral and the material, bringing in restraint, while both communists and capitalists separate the two. Restraint is very important in this age of climate change. Today, a young girl like Greta Thunberg is crying asking the world why it robbed her of her future. But in India, though the other economy in the villages is severely damaged, it can still be revived.

Do you think a post-liberalisation generation will accept this?

I agree this version will give lower profits, but we need to accept that. Instead of this recession collapsing on our heads, we need to rationally and scientifically slow down voluntarily.

Many youngsters are beginning to buy small plots of land in villages. But a person earning a lakh doing only mental work suddenly cannot shift to the village to earn from agriculture. The problem today is the heads are in the city while the hands are in the village. We need to integrate the two, bringing discipline and the concepts of the 21st century to villages while making cities sustainable.

In an increasingly communally polarised political arena, can Gandhian values offer the answer?

Humanity cannot stay angry forever. My biggest problem with the RSS and the BJP is their distortion of Rama. Sita and Rama are essentially metaphors for Prakruti and Purusha. But the BJP has separated Rama from Sita, made him angry and made Hanuman angry. There is a sea of difference between the Rama of Gandhi and the Rama of the BJP. While Gandhi died with ‘Hey Ram’ on his lips, his Rama was the Ashramavasi Rama. The BJP has made ‘Jai Shri Ram’ into a war cry. We need to rediscover Rama and Gandhi can be of help in this endeavour.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:01:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/humanity-cannot-stay-angry-forever-prasanna/article29568997.ece

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