Mangaluru: “The Ram Mandir may be a sacred issue but establish a 'sacred' economy first. For them (government) sacred is Ram Janmabhoomi and economy means opening FDI,” said Gram Seva Sangh founder Prasanna.
Although Prasanna’s name might strike a unique chord with Kannada theatre enthusiasts, the lifelong activist has recently been making headlines for his relentless pursuit of one simple demand from the Central Government: A sacred economy. Embarking on a ‘Satyagraha’ to make this demand heard, Prasanna has been even more adamant in ensuring that people first understand the meaning of the term “sacred” economy, which is what brought him to the city.
Addressing a small gathering in a discussion-forum organised at the Roshni Nilaya School of Social Work, on Friday, November 15, Prasanna laid out the pros of establishing a sacred economy while gently inviting deliberation on the Gram Seva Sangh’s adopted cause. “Let us make this economic recession into a positive thing and build a better nation,” he said.
Commenting on today’s political discourse, Prasanna said, “There is binary thinking in politics today as people only see the BJP or Congress. While everyone thinks of only these two possibilities, we are thinking of ten possibilities.”
“Our aim is not about whether the BJP or Congress government will fall. It is about letting people who are suffering know that you are working for them,” he added.
When one of the attendees questioned if the movement had become relegated to giving sermons and bringing back a feudal system, Prasanna calmly voiced his opposition. He said, “We are not asking to go back to a feudal system economy. We are working to bring entrepreneurship in small sectors and rural areas. That is why our demand accepts a 40 percent rate of automation. We need modern villages.”
Prasanna further slammed the government for giving tax relief to the corporate class. He questioned, “Why should Ambani and Adani get reforms? Instead, direct the reforms at the small-sector businessmen and rural workers. Do you know that we are still paying a 10 rupees tax for cotton? Meanwhile, the taxes are being waived for Adani and Ambani.”
The activist also informed that he had written a letter to Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda that included steps to establish a sacred economy such as adopting zero tax and refinancing policies, economic restructuring, and positive discrimination strategies. Prasanna also stated that their demands had a deadline of December 1 failing which the organisation would intensify its ‘Satyagraha’.
Scholar and author Lakshmisha Tolpadi, along with several other local activists and social workers, also offered their valuable inputs over the course of the discussion.
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