June 2018: Editorial

Courage. Derived from the Latin word cor – meaning from the heart. Defined as the ability to do something that frightens one.

Entering the belly of the whale. Questioning the status quo. Demanding the closure of a copper smelter in their town. Visioning a future that’s sustainable and pathways to achieve it.

All of the above require courage.

And social courage then, by extension, is the readiness to do what’s right, even in the face of societal pressures. As Aristotle put it, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.”What good really are one’s ideals and convictions if they weren’t fully embraced in the face of imminent threats to one life?.

This month, Bhoomi magazine will focus on courageous actions – taken at both individual and community level, both internal and external, to protect what one loves. Be this the native forests in Kumaon or the lives affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam. If development in it’s current paradigm is defined by the movement of people, the June issue of Bhoomi magazine will profile people’s movements, especially the National Alliance of People’s Movements and their work over the past two decades in seeking justice and equality for vulnerable communities.

Then we go a step further from firefighting to re-imagining by bringing forth a vision for a sustainable India with an introduction to Ashish Kothari and KJ Joy’s book, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled. It is a book that will open the reader to a plethora of possibilities when it comes to creating possible pathways towards a sustainable future. At the policy level, Kavitha Kurungati will review the FSSAI’s notification on mandatory labeling for organic food and Rema Kumar explores the texture of trust based decentralized food markets and how they could lead us creating a community of well being.

Wendell Berry said, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”  With this lens of one being inextricably linked to a place, belonging to it and the willingness to do anything and everything to protect it, we unpack the history of Sterlite at Thoothukudi.

Here’s to wishing that we all have the courage in our thoughts, words and actions!

Adil Basha


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