Adivasis and the Environmentalism of the Rich

Indian Tribals …and…the environmentalism of the rich

Guest post by Ishwar Singh Dost

Whatever I say here, is born of three decades of day-to-day experience of India’s poor. And, amongst them, India’s tribals share a worse fate. Theirs is a faceless existence. They are in India from ancient times, for thousands of years, yet the mainstream India has continually refused to recognise them. In the tribal society there is no caste division, no dowry system, divorce and widow remarriage is socially sanctioned. They are, after centuries of oppression and neglect, still so civilized! Yet we have simply refused to recognise their worth, have made them bonded slaves in the unorganised sectors, have evicted them from land wherever we have founded industries, or built dams.

Having been denied fundamental human rights, they have joined the floating population of the other poor who follow the contractors and go anywhere for a pittance. The mighty tribal culture, their fantastic dances, music, painting and wood cuttings are lifted by middlemen for a handful of coins and sold at high prices at home and abroad. The artisans receive next to nothing.

– Indian author Mahashweta Devi on the Indian tribals, aka adivasis

In comparison with other sections of Indian poor, the adivasis or the tribals are at the lowest rank of the Human Development Index, much below the Dalits. 50% of the adivasis live below the poverty line- a figure twice of the other rural poor. The Below Poverty Line (BPL) percent for all agricultural labourers is 45% but 61% of the adivasi agricultural labourers live below the poverty line. The number of adivasi cultivators declined from 68% in 1993- 94 to 45% in 1999-2000. Poverty increased by 5% among the rural adivasis and by 30% among the urban adivasis between 1993-94 to 1999-2000.

The Scheduled Tribes are the only strata of Indian population whose number of poor went up during this period- when other vulnerable sections of the population, the scheduled castes, agricultural labourers and urban casual workers have shown some decline in poverty.

Historically, the tribals have been pushed farther and farther into the interiors of the forests and away from cultivable lands- it is no coincidence that they occupy the land rich in minerals, since such land tends to be poor in terms of cultivation.

But it was British rule that dramatically altered the patterns of land and forest use forever. By 1860, Britain had become a world champion of deforestation. Besides denuding forests in its own country, it also ravaged the jungles in its colonies the world over, using the timber in shipbuilding, railways, smelting iron and so on.

The colonial state declared the forests as state property and the dispossession of the adivasis from their own land bagan. While the Forest Department established in 1865 was assigned the role of a revenue generating organ, the Indian Forest Act of 1927 gave arbitrary powers to the forest officers.

Post independence experience of marginalisation and subjugation continued- laws like the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 and the India Forest Act of 1927 are still in force. The pattern of industrialisation reinforced processes introduced by the British, the same laws were retained post 1947 while ensuring that “development” was achieved via internal colonialisation.

The extent of the colonisation of the forests can be discerned from the following statistics:

Export of wood and forest produce was worth Rs. 4,459 crores, about 15% of the total exports from India in 2000-01 from Rs 95 crores in 1960-61. This is despite the fact that the area under forests has continued to shrink from 40% in 1854 to 22% in 1952 to 10% in the 1980s. The revenue from forest lands rose from Rs 24 crores to Rs. 472 crores in 1980-81.

The count of people displaced from the projects like dams, mines and industries ranges between 20 to 30 million. Almost half of these displaced persons are adivasis. They are only 8 percent of total population of India, but constitute 40% of displaced persons. If we add the numbers of displaced persons after 1990, this would go to 50%.

The Forest Policy of 1988, however, brought about some welcome changes to the country’s approach to the issue, and to some extent reflected the aspirations of popular movements. It introduced elements of conservation- replacing monoculture cultivation with mixed forests- the World Bank funded Pine project in Bastar had by then proved how disastrous monoculture cultivation- specially of pine, can be.

While adivasis continue to be displaced for ostensibly nationalist projects like construction of dams, reserved forests, sanctuaries and national parks are being seen as the new destination for eco- tourists- that is the new mantra of the international aid agencies, governments, environmental lobbyists and agencies like the World Wildlife Fund.

Recent years have also seen the rise of the fashionable “environmentalism of the rich” within India, which is not unlinked to the Western nations’ invocation of conservation- countries that had achieved a degree of progress by destroying the ecology now demanded that the victim countries now help conserve it to save the world from global warming, while evading the question of compensation.

It is also being pushed by a conglomeration of ex- maharajas, ex- shikaris, tourists and other privileged sections.

It is a paradox that while adivasis are being driven out from their habitats, tourist activities are being promoted. The adivasis are being blamed for “encroaching” on their own lands.

A report last year in Down to Earth magazine pointed out:

Tourism is flourishing in Ranthambore, with hotels mushrooming around the tiger in its reserve. Till the mid-1990s, there were just over 10 hotels in and around the forests of the reserve and in the town of Sawai Madhopur some 12 kilometres (km) from the gate of the national park. Now there are 33, of which 26 are prominent. Six new hotels are under construction. Average room rents vary between Rs 400 a night to a staggering Rs 30,000 for a night of ultra-deluxe luxury in the midst of the wild tigers.

Lack of regulation has meant that many hotels have come up on agricultural or charagah (grazing) land, within a 500-metre radius of the park boundary. “The demand for new hotels has led to the sky-rocketing of land prices,” says a local hotelier. Along the Ranthambore road, land prices have gone up from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh per hectare (ha) 10 years back to anywhere from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh per ha today, depending on the proximity to the park entrance. “Due to the high prices villagers prefer to sell the land near the park,” says Hemraj Meena, a guide at the tiger reserve.

Among those who own houses and hotels near the (Ranthambore) park are Valmik Thapar, well-known conservationist and member of the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee, and his relatives, and Fateh Singh Rathore, former field director of Ranthambore and now vice-chairman of Tiger Watch, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), and his family. These properties are within 500 meters of the forest boundary. “Hotel Sher Bagh located at a distance of 104 meters from the forest boundary is run by Jaisal Singh, Thapar’s nephew,” says Chandu Sharma, a local journalist. “Sher Bagh is a deluxe tented camp owned by Valmik Thapar’s family,” confirms wildlifeworldwide.com.

The stark truth brought about by the report is: People who direct conservation policies profit from the regulations that promote tourism and park management.

This is just the continuation of the so- called “Panchsheel policy” established during Jawaharlal Nehru’s time. Nehru had himself stated while addressing villagers who were being displaced by the Hirakund dam:

If you are to suffer, you should suffer in the interest of the country.

Mrs Indira Gandhi wrote in the same vein to Baba Amte in a letter dated 30 August 1984:

I am most unhappy that development projects displace tribal people from their habitat, especially as project authorities do not always take care to properly rehabilitate the affected population. But sometimes there is no alternative and we have to go ahead in the larger interests.

The end of the story has remained the same: whether it is the development of the nation or conservation of the environment, the “somebody” who has to pay the price is the adivasi.

Ishwar Singh Dost is a long time activist, researcher and journalist. His paper “Forests, Adivasi Rights and the State” is due for publication in a book edited by Prof. A.V. Afonso

Picture Acknowledgements

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13 Replies to “Adivasis and the Environmentalism of the Rich”

  1. The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
    Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
    Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
    Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

    Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

    If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

    Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

    When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

    There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

    People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

    Emotion ends.

    Man becomes machine.

    A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

    FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

    SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.

    To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

    PlanetSave

    EarthNewsWire

    sushil_yadav

  2. Great and very informative post! thanks Ishwar!!

    The adivasis are being blamed for “encroaching” on their own lands.

    land grab has indeed become a major problem and the way the govt is selling the rights to multinational companies, it is just scandalous. i think a few months back there was a tussle between the Orissa and the Jharkhand govt over which govt can provide land to the mittal steel more cheaply and with less hassles about the tribals. I think the contact finally went to the Orissa govt…

    I think ultimately it is all about property rights and its legal protection. Does the land belong to the tribals or the state? if it belongs to the state on what terms it can enter into a contract with third parties? sadly I think the law currently is sided against the tribals and the native population on this issue.

    there is also a problem of sustainability. in many cases the resources are owned by tribals, for all practical purposes, but because of overpopulation and other factors, they are not used wisely and sustainably and which has resulted in more poverty.

    and bhupinder, the commenter above seems to be coming from the “neo-narodist” camp … though i can understand and sympathise with him, I’m not a fan of the modern world either 🙂

  3. Alok:I will let Ishwar (being Ishwar!) respond later, but to your last point- depends on what one sees as positive in the modern world and what is not.

    Indeed, this ability to be dissatisfied with the world is itself a modern phenomenon- previous history is replete with the sanctity of tradition. It is the modern man who has had the courage to voice dissent- and make efforts to change the world.

  4. It seems that first commentator thinks too much– at least in the above comment. So there remains no ‘gap’ for emotions. I have total respect to the feeling of him, but it perturbs that he still ‘think’ and even presenting his ideas in an argumentative format. The view that thinking mind cannot feel is perhaps based on the 18’th century philosophical (again empiricists had to think for arguing against rationalists) distinction between reason and experience. The dialectical thinking have already surpassed such a binary of mind-body, thought-emotions etc. Emotion is not exists during the gaps of thinking. Our mind is not any mechanical device. There is no need of switching over from thinking to feeling and vice versa. The research of Levi- Strauss had shown that even tribal have pattern of formal and abstract thinking. Yes they do have epistemologies. Thinking is not the invention of industry or modernity. It is as ancient as humankind. Feeling has not decreased with modernity. Novel, a modern creation also comes in the realm of feeling and emotions. But if one is adamant that only epic pertains to emotional! Certainly role of reason is increased in capitalistic modernity. But as Habermas tells us there can be 3 kinds of rationalities: instrumental, communicative and emancipatory.
    One can understand the agony of modern man and its experiences of unfamiliarity, alienation and helplessness. But I surprised that SUSHIL is complaining against only machine, industries and not against capital and commodity. Now in place of traditional communities ‘money becomes the real community’…The very process of exchanging money for a commodity in market hides ‘the conditions of labour and life, the sense of joy, anger, or frustration that lie behind the production of commodities, the states of mind of the producers.’(David Harvey)
    I agree with ALOK that there are positive and negative sides of capitalistic modernity. The mot positive contribution of modernity is what BHUPINDER describes very-very nicely that it gives us a power of reflexivity and making choices. Even we can ponder over and reject modernity itself… And we should not forget that traditional societies have custodians of knowledge in the form of priests, or elderly wise men. One can question many things in debates in traditional societies, but can not question the authority of patriarchy, King, Brahmins etc., as they derived legitimacy by a reference to force of religion (divinity, otherworld) or belongingness to community…
    If we compare pre-capitalistic and capitalistic societies than find that in pre-capitalist societies the ‘relations of domination and servitude’ or the relation between lordship and bondage essentially involves the fetishism in relations between human beings. But in the capitalist societies, relations of personal dependence dissolves into a system of market, in which participating individuals seem independent. Thus social relations between human beings assume the form of relations between things. So in this way, the fetishism of humans, characteristic of feudalism turns into the fetishism of commodities in capitalism.( See Zizek)

  5. Ishwar: I dont know what to thank you for- the post or the comment, the latter packs so much punch that I feel it should have been another post altogether.

    Much honoured to have this guest post by you, and look forward to see more from you here.

  6. Dost’s piece seems to have emanated from the depth of his feelings…and it touches you!
    Many groups of people in society have a heart wrenching stories to tell, the tribals more so…
    While taking over of the land by a faceless Govt. may be one aspect of the adivasi’s bondage, the increasing dangers of privatization of water and in an oblique sense of the clean air will complete the physical subjugation…
    For a general story about water privatization read here
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20020902/barlow

    The tribals may have bore the brunt, but the other sections like farmers and in general villagers are next in line…
    The story of mad rush for SEZs ,mostly in land earlier held in common or by villagers individually and their consequent eviction has a similar ring…
    It was a revelation to me that the people of ‘Bhakra’ village in Himachal, where a ‘modern temple’ in the shape of world famous Bhakra Dam came up in 1960’s and which stores water in billions of cubic-feet, got potable water a couple of years ago and that too when the villagers met the then Union Power Minister who happened to be on a visit…Such stories you hear everywhere…
    In fact, Villages, Adivasis and tillers of land are giving a huge subsidy at their own cost and probably at their children’s cost to urban land development Wallas…termed ‘Ecological Omnivores’ by Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha in their immensely readable book Ecology and Equity… a review from outlook here …

    http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=19960626&fname=booksb&sid=1

  7. Ishwar Singh Dost,

    In the context of Thoughts and Emotions I would like to mention a few points.

    Thoughts and Emotions are interlinked – but different things – totally/ completly different.

    Words can be spoken – words can be read – words can be heard.

    Emotion is a subjective-experience. Other examples of subjective experience are taste, smell, touch, headache, stomach pain.

    One can understand the difference this way :

    When we eat an apple we can feel the taste of apple. Apple can give us the taste of apple – but apple is not taste.

    If we pour apple juice into a glass – the glass will not feel the taste – it does not have the ability to feel taste.

    If a person eats an apple he will feel the taste – because he has the ability to generate taste from apple.

    Words/ Visuals can evoke, intensify and sustain emotions – but words/ visuals are not emotions.

    sushil_yadav

  8. In every field there is easy work/activity and difficult work/activity.

    In mathematics there is easy mathematics and difficult mathematics. Everyone can add 2+4 within microseconds. A PhD level problem of mathematics would take hours [or more] to solve – and that too only by someone who has spent 20 – 25 years learning mathematics upto PhD level.

    Same way in the field of emotions there are easy emotions and difficult emotions. Easy emotions are evoked within nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds – anger, lust, fear, pleasure, entertainment and excitement are some examples. These emotions are associated with fast breathing and heart-rate. These emotions don”t require gaps between thinking to evoke, intensify and sustain. These are the emotions that can be found everywhere in today’s fast society.

    Then there are difficult emotions – which require ability and years of effort to develop – emotions associated with pain, compassion and peaceful states of mind are some examples. These emotions are associated with slow breathing and heart-rate. These emotions require freezing of thought – freezing of visuals and words – huge amounts of gaps between thinking – to evoke, intensify and sustain.

    sushil_yadav

  9. Wow! that was a great comment from Ishwar. There is definitely a case against the modernity that we practice today, but it is definitely not about destroying machines and getting back to the rural life. It is about how much role the “exchange of commodity” can have in our lives. When even the most private desires of self are commoditised and sold in the market for profit, it is no surprise that man feels alienated.

    Bhupinder, it would be a good idea to turn it into a post so that it is easy to link. Also it would be great if some backgrounder on alienation, commodity fetishism and theories of modernity can be added, for ignorant people like me! That is if it is possible, I know it takes up a lot of time.

  10. I thought the video was educative 🙂 It covers practically everything with a practical demo.

    On a more serious note: Ishwar- who is by far the best person I know to work on this, is tied up right now.

    I could make an attempt too, though of course I am not trained like Ishwar,besides not being as driven as he is.

    Every comment that he leaves at this blog seems to call for a post on the topic 🙂 I do wish he would write more often.

    Ishwar- hope you are listening to the call of the masses !

  11. Bhupinder: Thank you very much for nice words and also for giving me this opportunity of guest post, that makes me enable to interact and discuss with friends. This is really a superb experience.
    Rajesh: You are right. The plight of adivasis is part of a larger picture, which you portray very well. Thanks for the link to review of ‘Ecology and Equity’. Their books are very important. Perhaps Guha and Gadgil are the pioneer in ecological history in India. I’ve read their ‘This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India’
    Alok Ranjan: Thanks Alok, I totally agree with your view-point. Capitalist (including state-capitalist or social-capitalist, which wrongly termed as ‘actually-existing socialism) modernity poses a big problem to humanity, ecology by commoditization of life-world, but question is to go beyond it and not behind it.

  12. Sushil Yadav: I think that now we are close to each other’s viewpoint. Earlier it seemed that you are completely separating thinking from emotion. But now you accept that thought and emotions are ‘inter-linked’. At the same-time you stresses on the total difference between thought and emotions. You gave example, however, of not emotion, but of sense-perception. (apple, taste). But in next comment, you accept that there can be difficult emotions, ‘which require ability and years of effort to develop’. Here we reached to the point. At least you concede that at the level of ‘difficult’ emotions thought is not ‘completely different’ from emotions.

    Unlike rationalists, dialectical approach does not dispute the authority of experience. Neither has it reduced experience into thought or vice-versa. But it does not see phenomena of thought, emotion, will, and action as completely unconnected and different. It is not in favour of privileging of experience or even thinking at the cost of other. We are living in the world of machines. But it is not necessary to perceive human mind as machines, made of pieces and bits. Even machine’s pieces and bits are well-connected. Human is smarter than even smart machines. There are differences between mental phenomena, but more at the level of analysis, which is one of the processes of thinking and especially formal thinking. Analysis is good, but why should we forget its sibling ‘synthesis’.

    I think that there is consensus between us that thinking and experience is not the same phenomena. You and I are not identical. But could you deny that we are human being. Sooner we can discover many other similarities, but at the same time we are distinct beings. Non-identity does not entail exclusiveness. When two entities are not identical, this does not mean that they are exclusionary of each other. There are relations of interactions, interdependences, interpenetrations and overlapping. My sorrow and joy may not be identical to your sorrow and joy, but can I not understand yours and you mines? Your experience is your experience and my experience is my experience. I can not ‘experience’ your experience. I can experience your behaviour, verbal or non-verbal, but not experience. But can I not understand your experience? Understanding involves some facilities of thinking. Why should be afraid of that? When we read or hear a story, somebody’ experience, then an inter-subjective field created. In Indian aesthetics there is a category of ‘sahridaya’.

    The example, you have given, is of sense-perception or sense-datum. But there is a difference between sense-perception and experience. Experience is itself a synthesis of perceptions. Experience is not always immediate. There is past experience, classified and structured by the faculties of thinking and conceptual categories (even a layman uses abstract concepts) And there is possible experience, the source of anticipation, inference… connection of earlier experience with other things. Inference I based on the resemblances to the earlier and future experience.
    A pure, unmediated experience and a pure thinking is a kind of fantasy, but these are OK as formal categories. Sense- perception is one of the bases of reasoning. Other methods include concept-formation and logic. Please don’t equate and thus reduce thinking to reasoning. It is only one form of thinking. But thinking is also common-sensical and intuitive.
    Sense perception is not tantamount to thought, but only analytically separable from thought. Thought presupposes and includes sense perception. Seeing is a perception. But observation, which is directly based on sense perceptions, is much more complex entity. The capacity to observe is not delinked from the grey matter. Observation, listening has its own distinct intelligence. Smelling may be dependent of language. In many languages there are not any words of particular smells and colors. Research shows that member of particular cultures cannot identify particular smells, tastes. Sometime cultural categories influence our sensory experience including seeing.
    Should we not realize the limit of the experience as there are limits of thinking too. Is experience completely individualistic? Or presuppose a sharing of language, intercourse of subjects? Experience is subjective in the sense that your experience is not my experience. But experience is the same time not merely an individual experience. This is also an inter-subjective experience. There are cultural patterns of weeping, laughing, pain-bearing. But this cultural realm is not closed or exclusive. This is translatable. That why an inter-cultural dialogue and reception of art and literature is possible. The Kantian categories of mind, Chomskyan innate ideas exist within the individual subject and beyond the individual subject. We know the story of Moguli. Faculty of mind, which systematizes and structures the experiences, has to be imbibed by the individual from without- from cultures and inter-cultural dynamics. Individual does not create meanings, values, norms—the filters of experience—‘alone.’ But any abstract or static society is not the creator of all these. These are created, reproduced and contested over in an inter-subjective realm by joint actions.
    Understanding transcends experience. Every human being, primitive or modern ‘learns’ by experience—confirm or disconfirm her choices, rejects or selects experiences.
    Language is our means of classifying and ordering the world. Every language has a logical structure, without which communication is not possible. Chomsky made us realized that the pace and accuracy with which children pick up new words ‘leaves no real alternative to the conclusion that the child somehow has the concepts available before experience with language and is basically learning labels for concepts that are already part of his or her conceptual apparatus.’ Language gives us transcendental capacity. Transcendence means to going beyond. Eagleton says that language liberates us from the prison-house of senses.
    Only one anthropologist Lucien levy-Bruhl suggested that he found the existence of ‘prelogical’ cultures. His conclusion was that the members of such culture make contradictory and incoherent statements, observation. But later other anthropologist revisited the fields and found the natives more reasonable and coherent. Non-understanding of metaphors and culture-specific meanings often led to the charge of incoherence.
    If one is not pathological, s/he cannot be confined to the feeling of one sensation at one time. One can feel pain in knee or have an experience of seeing something blue, but these parts make a ‘unified conscious experience’. We are not the bundles of sensations or sense-perception or experiences. There is a ground state that unites many sensations and experiences in one being. Kant calls this ‘the transcendental unity of apperception.’ Modern neurobiology calls it ‘binding problem’. In Kantian terms when I am reading your comment and puzzled about it, then this is an empirical self-awareness, but at the same time I experience myself. This is apperceptive self-awareness.
    There is also a distinction between affect, feeling and emotions. Feeling is usually described as ‘affect made conscious’; having an evaluative competence. Emotion is more psychosocial in its make. Emotions play a crucial part not only in decision-making, but also in thinking process. In Hindi there is good expression: ‘Gyanaatmak samvedanaa and Samvednaatmak Gyan’.
    Emotion is much more complex than sense-perception or feeling. Emotions and even feeling can include moral judgments (choices with tacit or explicit reasoning) and rational thought. Feelings of alienation, anomie in capitalist modernity are case in point. Emotion of grief and guilt are much elaborated and very diverse in character. Our grief over the death of our parents and other dear ones may fade by time and we can begin normal life again, we can realize the inevitability of deaths of aged, but all these don’t imply that we don’t love our deceased beloveds anymore. In fact before the discovery of novel as a modern literary form, the treatment of complexity (and paradoxes, dilemmas) of emotion was not possible. Anger and fear are not only conditioned by the discourses (words), but also aggravated and diminished by the effect of spiritual theories (words).
    The oft-repeated division between what heart feels and what head tells is an analytic fallacy. The analytic and positivistic traditions introduced many ‘irreconcilable’ binaries. The analytic tradition, which comes into existence because of instrumental and calculative needs of capitalistic modernity, cleverly classifies emotions as irrational, as unthinking. Remember Shakespeare’s famous comment: ‘there was a method in his madness’.
    Take an example of the emotion of compassion. Perhaps you would accept that Buddha was not an unthinking person. Compassion necessarily involves wisdom, moral choices and value judgments about others. Without treating others as equal, capable of reciprocal love, valued and dignified personalities, compassion is not possible. Gandhiji thought that one cannot be moral without being political, when country is under colonial subjugation. Even now if one want to be sensitive towards ecological destruction, social injustices, thingification of persons and personification of things/commodities, one should try to know the causes of all these—again a realm of thinking.

    And why are you dead against thinking? There is difference too in knowledge and thinking. There is difference between ‘I know’ and ‘I think.’ First expresses a tinge of certainty, second expresses a tinge of doubt. Skinner says that ‘think’ is often a weaker word for ‘know’. Compare ‘I know this is the path’ with ‘I think this is the path.’ To think is also to solve. At least etymologically, ‘to solve’ means ‘to loosen or set free.’ Thinking is also a form of exploration.

  13. sushil yadav: In your first mail you tell that ‘today people are thinking all the time’. Modern human is deprived of not only of senses, but also of thinking. Marx said: ‘all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by the simple estrangement of “all” these senses—the sense of “having”’.. the desire to accumulate is guiding lives. You are against consumerism. Why should we foster enmity between experience/ emotions and thinking? Both are at risk in this age of empire or late capitalism. Consumerism’s main weapon is advertisement, the seduction of images and sounds, which blunt the thinking capacity of viewers. Consumerism encourages passivity, and bewilderment of viewer, and customers. The creation of mass society, popular cultures fed on the diet of Hollywood and sop opera, which dulls thinking of masses. There is an overflow of information, but information is not thinking, even not knowledge. Dance of images and flow of info. are making our consciousness fragmented. All great thinkers, scientists feel moment of intuition in their life. Great discoveries are the result of intuition. But for attaining creativity and intuition they first go by the path of studying and thinking. Thinking, experiencing, emotions are not the part of problem. Problem lies in the commodification and fragmentation of self.

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