There is a saying ‘Vyaparam droha chintanam’. I don’t know whether it is a saying or something that was brought into being by common people coming face to face with trade. After globalisation, trade has been prancing around as betrayal. Now intellect and commerce have come together and that is being seen as knowledge. These two together are weaving a pillaging trap for this earth itself. Deceit has become strategy. The ones who run this are seen as being chanakshya or clever. This is a colossal tragedy. Today, governance is in the hands of commerce. Betrayal and deceit rule us. In the world of globalisation trade has become war.

In such a crisis, India has set out to sign a 16 nation free trade agreement, the RCEP. This is work being done by those without any wisdom. Because as a consequence of this, collapsing employment will collapse more. Please Prime Minister don’t hastily sign this demonstrating that only a fool could have more courage. It’s okay even if you don’t listen to us. At least listen, setting aside your man ki baat, to the words of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, RSS’s sister organisation. With regard to signing on to RCEP specifically addressing dairy,  Swadeshi Jagran Manch says, “This will prove to be the most suicidal step by the government since independence.” If these very words were said by someone else, you and your followers would label them anti-nationals and inflict a variety of tortures on them. Now? I do believe that you will not muster up the courage to call them anti-nationals. Do remember that poverty eradication does not mean pushing the poor into the jaws of death. Today the working class has become much like the after-a-meal disposable banana leaf.

Lastly a word. Someone asked me as to what is the difference between a country and a nation. What do I say? Simply, a nation is ego, prestige. A country means a people. If this has to be made clearer a nation pursues prestige. But a country follows the well being and prosperity of its people. Or it can be said like this. Nation is the garland on one’s neck. Country is the food for the stomach. I beseech you – enough of all the national and international tours with the garland around your neck.

During the time of India’s struggle for independence when the Lancashire mill was close to shut down, on account of the burning of foreign clothes campaign, the unemployed workers spoke about their troubles to Gandhi and he said “There is a party in my country which would sooner see an end to the lives of these half starved millions in order that the rest may live.” {September 26/27, 1931}

I hope that your party, your sangh and its’ parivar do not enlist on to this group. What India needs right now is dignified employment and self reliance.

Protests took place all over the country on 24th October 2019 opposing the readiness of the central government to sign on to RCEP [Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership]. This is the text of the speech made by Devanoora Mahadeva at the protest in Mysore which was lead by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

Devanoora Mahadeva is a Kannada writer who has been conferred with the Padma Shri as well as the Sahitya Akademi award both of which he returned in protest against the growing intolerance in the country. A public intellectual and Dalit activist he has been a guiding force to various social movements in Karnataka and the country. This has been translated from Kannada into English by Rashmi Munikempanna.


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