National Symposium on the Handmade

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Why a Symposium on The Handmade?

Because we have become machine-made!

All civilizations are polarized entities. But unlike civilizations of the past, in this civilization, the polarization is near complete. We have killed the handmade, almost.

Why not machine-made?

While the machine is efficient, it is unnatural, it promotes easy life. The hand is natural and hard working. While the machine kills nature, kills jobs, the hand protects nature, generates work and generates welfare. While the machine makes wealth for a few, the hand distributes it. Yet, today the machine has dominated over the hand almost completely, causing enormous stress, both for the society and for nature. It’s a dangerous situation. Social scientists agree that, if an immediate and rather drastic remedial measure is not undertaken, human civilization may not survive even. It is in this explosive situation that the Symposium is organized.

The Symposium

It is an assembly of like-minded people. We have a simple task on hand. We want to give notice to the society, demanding a better deal for the handmade. For that, we know, the production process needs to be changed. We shall change it.

A little after the Symposium, we are going to lead a long march. We shall march across an acutely impoverished, but a rich landscape of hand-making, the countryside of the Deccan plateau, in India, travelling on bicycles and meeting hard-working people and celebrating the Handmade. We shall then tell the world how beautiful the process is of making things with our own hands.

Handing spirituality back to people

Apart from the political, economic and social significance, making things with our own hand has a deep spiritual significance. While working with the hand one is closer to God. The Bhakti tradition in India, for example, had held firmly to the working hand. We shall reshape spirituality with the help of the Handmade.

A Journey to Light up the Dark Nation

The long march is going to follow a route taken by a sixteenth-century Dalit Saint Poet Manteswamy. The saint had defined his journey as a journey to light up the dark nation. How profound! During that journey, down south (from what is today’s northern Karnataka) he mobilized working people belonging to different sectors of the handmade, into saint-poet-activists. Manteswamy did not consider himself either a Hindu or a Muslim. He did not consider himself either a Shaivite or a Vishnavite. He was a Sufi. We shall follow in his footsteps.

The bicycle

The bicycle is a metaphor for a good machine. A machine that is in sync with the hard-working people. By peddling over it, we want to send a message that we are not anti-machine and that we simply want a balanced civilization.

How to join in

~ You can register yourself as a delegate for the Symposium that will be held on Saturday, 6th Jan 2018 at St. Joseph’s Institute of Management in Bangalore, 9 am to 4 pm.

~ You can also register yourself for the cycle jatha, set to begin in Feb 2018.

~ You can donate a little money.

~ You can start a Gram Seva Sangh in your town.

~ You can do many things.

~ But above all, remember, you need to deconstruct your own life style first. You need to make it, a little simpler, a little harder. The machine has made all of us a little too soft.

Register your participation with Google Form: Https://goo.gl/LrXPC9

Cell: 9980043911 Email: graamasevasanghindia@gmail.com

Suggested registration fee for the Symposium: Rs 200 to support the cost of the event

Facebook: @gramsevasanghindia Twitter: @gramsevasangha

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