“Listen to the gentiles” urges Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, in an essay on his philosophy in life; “pay attention to what intelligent people are saying, even if they do not have your customs or speak your analytical language.” Given what we know about the phenomenon dubbed the wisdom of the crowd, might we surmise that the people in a society are an unrecognised font of knowledge and, dare we say it, wisdom?
Sunil Sahasrabudhey is a philosopher of science and knowledge, and a life-long activist in people’s movements. He is also a founder-member of Vidya Ashram, an institution dedicated to the study of lokavidya. He will talk to us about the promise of a knowledge movement of the people.
Please join us for the talk on Tuesday the 6th of June, at 5pm at Kanada Auditorium. Tea/Coffee at 4:45 pm.
The world of knowledge is today in a great flux. The appearance of the information sciences is forcing a change in the absolute command that the physical sciences have enjoyed for over two centuries now. This situation and also the nature of the new sciences have opened significant spaces for the re-legitimisation of knowledge with the people, namely lokavidya. This further promises an epoch making change in favour of the people. This is a time for celebration of Lokavidya for the world at large and for the world of knowledge in particular. Therefore, there has arisen a need to know, understand and appreciate lokavidya.
Lokavidya is not remnants of traditional knowledge; it is knowledge in society renewed every instant by the people based on their experiences and by their own genius. It is not just a body of information, but has its own values, logic, mode of abstraction and so on. It constitutes a very important component of the world of knowledge. If lokavidya has equal standing to that of science and the two enter into a relationship to augment, complement and enrich each other, we shall have a great new promise for the progress of mankind, the bottom line being complete eradication of poverty and absence of disparity and hierarchy.
About the Speaker:
Sunil Sahasrabudhey is founder member of Vidya Ashram, Varanasi, an institution engaged in building a knowledge movement of the ordinary people, viz a lokavidya movement. A student of BHU and IIT Kanpur, Sunilji has spent two decades at the Gandhian Institute of Studies, Varanasi. He has edited magazines such as Mazdoor Kisan Niti and Lokavidya Samvad, and was member of the Patriotic and People-Oriented Science and Technology (PPST) Foundation. He has nearly four decades of experience as an activist and has successfully combined his theoretical interests in the philosophy of science and knowledge, Gandhian philosophy and the theoretical basis of emancipatory movements with an active engagement in movements such as the Students’ Movement of the 1970s and the Peasant Movement of the 1980s and 90s. He has written several books and articles, in Hindi and English, on the philosophy and practice of India’s peasant movements, Gandhi’s philosophy of Science, politics of knowledge in the Internet Age, etc.
An introduction to lokavidya may be found in this video: “What is lokavidya?”