Thursday, September 07, 2006

Modern and Normal Civilizations

Reproduced from GANDHI MARG. May 1986. Pp 70-92 with updates:

Ashok Kumar R. 1986. Modern Civilization and Normal Civilization: The Need for Small Self-Sufficient Communities. GANDHI MARG. Vol. 8. No.2. May 1986. Pp 70-92.

Date of issue of the web version: 1 September 2006

Copyright ©2014-2019 Ramaswami Ashok Kumar

Modern Civilization and Normal Civilization: The Need for Small Self-Sufficient Communities


R. Ashok Kumar,

1/13, Telec Cooperative Housing Society, Plot 30, Sector- 17, Vashi, Navi Mumbai-400703.


In this article, the author traces the phases of the syndrome that has brought many countries of the Third World to the brink of a crisis in their economies and eco-systems. High dams, disappearance or destruction of forests, use of chemical fertilizers, destruction of the nutrients and resilience of the soil, the depletion of minerals and dependence on high- cost energy to the neglect of natural, inexpensive and local sources, planning for export and money- oriented mass production have posed real dangers to the eco-system, economies and the peace, happiness and self- reliance that existed in the traditional culture of small communities whose economic and cultural life were interwoven with nature.

A new obsession with maximization of monetary and immediate benefits that ignores the inter-relatedness of man, other life and nature, is being canvassed in the name of Science and Technology. The question that Ashok Kumar raises is whether, by ignoring life processes and the inter-relatedness that characterises nature, modern civilization will pave the way for its own destruction.



The article deals with the question whether it is in the interest of the health of all life on this planet to allow exhaustion of our topsoil by a deliberate commerce which effectively exports commodities made out of the soil. Is it right to consider food, cotton, oilcakes, ores, etc. as exportable commodities and as items which need not be recycled back to the soil and hence to be wasted into our rivers and lakes and the seas? Does the right scientific reasoning allow this? Is it right to carry on a commerce which depletes the earth’s capital resources?(1) . Regarding the industrialization of agriculture, already a dangerous situation has been reached, which points to the temporary nature of the enterprise. With the present green revolution methods of food supply, the population can be fed for only a limited period of time, that is till the topsoil is exhausted. Thereafter there is extinction in store for all life. Let us study this from the example of chromium and see the ramifications.

The daily requirement of chromium for human beings has been estimated to be 50 to 200 micrograms. Assuming the population of India at 800 million in 1985, the requirement of chromium on a daily basis would be 160 kg at the upper limit. The yearly requirement would therefore be some 60 tonnes. To give a comparison, the chromate ore that is mined in India at the annual rate of more than 300000 tonnes. The balance of recoverable reserves of chromium likely at the end of 1995 would be some 17.5 million tonnes(2). And the balance of life of the chromite ore after 1995 would be a mere 29 years, assuming 1995 rates of consumption(3). Even if 1% of all this 17.5 million tonnes were reserved for sustenance of human beings only in India, a population of some 1400 million would be served with such chromium for at most fifteen centuries or just about thirty generations, assuming all the soil is depleted of chromium by 1995. It is a small prospect indeed that chromium would be available for import at present. But we must consider the health of all life, not only a monoculture of humans because in nature everything depends on everything else. And we do not know much about the modalities of this interdependence except in broad terms. What then is the justification for a technology that exhausts? Can we mine chromite industrially without detriment to the health of all life?

The Complicated Nature of Life and its Simplification by Commercialization

The danger of the raw and untried experimental approach of science is that industrial practice tends to go in the direction of the latest scientific findings only. It tends to build its technology on existing information provided by science, that is, on that provided by intelligence of the human being alone. It is an end unto itself- and hence utterly dependent on its infallibility. A human culture so founded moves from crisis to crisis until it becomes extinct as has happened with so many civilizations in the past. The industrial business enterprise substitutes its raw experimental approach for existing successful practice, practice upheld by millennia of experience. Till 1959 chromium for man was not in the horizon of Western science as an element essential for life. Thus says Mertz (4): “ The essential function of chromium for maintenance of normal glucose tolerance in rats was established in 1959. This discovery was based on observations of impaired glucose tolerance in rats raised on purified diets that were complete with regard to all essential nutrients known at that time.” Again, “chromium deficiency in human beings cannot yet be reliably diagnosed by chromium analysis of body fluids or tissues. Its recognition depends on retrospective diagnosis: insulin resistance, manifested by impaired glucose tolerance in the presence of normal or even elevated concentrations of insulin, that is normalised by supplementation with physiological amounts of chromium.... Without a reliable diagnostic test for chromium status, the incidence and severity of chromium deficiency cannot be evaluated. Yet chromium deficiency can be implicated as a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases on the basis of animal studies as well as epidemiological and clinical correlations in human subjects.” Thus modern man had to wait for ‘science’ to establish the crucial importance to life of chromium as the regulator of that prime function of all life-energy metabolism. But he has not yet derived the vital lesson from it: that industrialization and the commercialization of agriculture are suicidal to life itself; that production and consumption followed by wastes and pollution that is characteristic of business must be replaced immediately by an agriculture that recognises that food is a cultural product, a product that is healthy in being wholesome, by an agriculture that lives out of kindly use of the soil, by preserving energy in cycles of use, by balancing production with reproduction, by maintaining soil fertility by diversity of plants, by symbiotic living between plants, animals and human beings,by using on farm inputs, by maintaining forests as essential to agriculture, by living by the example of the forest in self-sufficient communities, where the philosophy is intensive cultivation, and recycling everything that has been taken out of the soil back to the soil as plant food, utilising science and tools to enrich and better experience, where human energy is enjoyed in use, where the aim is the health of all life, where there is joy in work, where there is singing while working, and folkculture is strengthened in use and constantly formed; where there is enough for all life, where the wheel of life carries on in dynamic equilibrium, in permanent willing peace and cooperation, where being constantly in touch with nature, man does not lose awareness of his position in the universe, where everybody is important and interdependent, where money-profit is an insignificant part of the individual’s life, where the individual finds security in the community, a vital part of a healthy whole.

Status of some other essential elements in India

Let us next take zinc; the daily intake of man is 15 mg. The zinc consumption annually should be some 4380 tonnes for 800 million people only, neglecting requirements for plants and animals. Recoverable reserves of zinc by 1996 are 4.78 million tonnes(5). Just to fulfill the essential health needs of the existing number of people means that zinc would be available 1100 years or for fifteen generations only. This assumes that by 1996, all zinc would have vanished from our soils if the practice of non-recycling of topsoil continues. And we must be disciplined indeed that we do not use up any zinc for our industrial purposes(other than agriculture) in a decade from now. And look at the present rate of extraction of zinc from the earth: yearly 50300 tonnes(India). At the estimated rate of extraction in 1996, the balance in India, of life of zinc after 1995 is only thirty-eight years(6). As an interesting, but in any case important sidelight, let us examine the amount of zinc that would become available in our agricultural fields if human bodies were recycled back on death. The death rate is about fifteen per thousand. Thus for 800 million it would be twelve million deaths. The amount of zinc present in the human body is about 1 to 2 grams. The daily intake is about 15 mg per day. If a human being lives for 60 years, the gross intake is 15 mg per day x 365 days per year x 60 years which works out to 328.5 grams. Thus most of the zinc is excreted. However, if we compute the amount of zinc in the 12 million dead annually, it amounts to 12 to 24 tonnes of zinc. The gross intake per year per capita is 5475 mg. The zinc so recycled by uniformly distributing the dead among our fields is only 15 to 30 mg per head or one to two days requirement. This illustrates the nature of actions taking place in an economy which is based on consumptive using up of vital resources. Zinc is essential for life. According to Mertz(7), zinc is contained in numerous enzymes involved in energy metabolism and in transcription and translation. Deficiency signs in human beings are growth depression, sexual immaturity, skin lesions, depression of immunocompetence and change of taste acuity. The deficiency signs in animals are failure to eat, severe growth depression, skin lesions and sexual immaturity. Deficiencies have been found in Iran and Egypt, in total parenteral nutrition, genetic diseases and traumatic stress. Till now, the following elements have been established by the methods of modern science as essential for life and more may be in the offing judging by expert opinion. Apart from chromium and zinc discussed above, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulphur, iron, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, selenium, silicon, arsenic, chlorine, potassium, cobalt, molybdenum, vanadium, nickel, magnesium, calcium, copper, iodine and fluorine are essential to life. Tin may be included in the list in the near future.

The Poverty of Agriculture Run on Industrial Business Lines

The Green Revolution agriculture emphasises raising of crops completely on purchased inputs and characteristically destroys the local resource base and consequently an agriculture typified by small- scale farming based on thousands of years of local experience: the inputs purchased by uncontrollable cash are artificial chemical fertilizers, seeds responsive to heavy doses of such fertilizers, while the agriculture practised is a series of monocultures. Hence heavy inputs of pesticides and weedicides are required. Also, mechanical energy operated tractors, pumps and a host of other mechanical equipment run by fossil fuels, and hence dependent on foreign control and the imminent threat of depletion are used, instead of mechanical-advantaged animals; human energy is wasted instead of being enjoyed in use. Further, the night soil is wasted and disposed off into the seas and rivers. Thus most of the excreted zinc does not get returned to the soil in the time constants fixed by nature! And much of the other nutrients as well and also water are wasted. Agriculture run on money-profit lines considers man as a conduit through which topsoil in the form of food is transported into the sewers built with costly foreign money(8). Topsoil erodes into the seas and rivers. When in this process traditional culture-farming homes, in which the whole family takes part in farming and in which the farmers are both managers and labourers, is disrupted, the farmers run into the cities or become farm labour; the previous experience is not used as the new profit oriented farming is an alien ‘laboratory to land technology’, independent of traditional inputs of successful experience peculiar to the local circumstances, using local resources. The dynamics of wild selection is replaced by a static stored gene cross breeding- a dangerous inegalitarian monopolistic monoculture monstrosity:90 percent of the value of patented foods comes from their basic genetic endowment, another 9.9 percent is due to improvement over the centuries and the patent holders add about a 0.1 percent change and then they declare that they ‘own’ the food and all rights to its seed. Invaluable information gathered by farmers about their crops over the centuries, such as how the crops fit into the surrounding eco-system, the control of pests, how and when they can be eaten, is lost(8a). The healthy successful balance between care and use, maintaining the whole self-sufficient robust community in permanent vigour- the traditional culture- falls into disuse. Its practitioners, the people, the animals, the plants and the micro-organisms and the soil become unhealthy. The small farmer becomes frustrated. The rich farmer gets the land of the small farmer as he can afford the costly manufactured inputs. Land use becomes standardised, less intensive, less careful and hence comparatively wasteful use results. The people lose interest in the land, and the next generation of these people become alien to true farming based on past memories. Land and community are no longer their security. They will consider themselves lucky to live on wages, on money, whose value is, for the voter, becoming less day by day, whichever way he votes. Such farming for profit is done on large plots in contrast to the small family farm.

Destructive Use of Resources

Because irrigation is needed for green revolution farming, a large dam is seen as a requirement by modern engineering machine-oriented planners instead of a forest, whose properties, vastly superior to a dam-oriented culture, are wholly ignored, largely because of the disease of specialization which afflicts modern culture, as opposed to traditional culture; in the latter, the farmer is aware of the ecology of the system- the undisturbed system- within which he is living. Such a dam would submerge much land- often rich agricultural land of the small farmers of the diversity-based, forest-based variety. The people with their thousands of years culture would be uprooted and billion year old forests and hence wild life destroyed. The yield downstream becomes unmanageable because the natural contour of the land would be unused and it takes an inordinately long time to have the requisite canals constructed. The water table becomes higher and higher until water logging results. Evaporation of water on sun drenched land causes salts to be left behind and chemical fertilizers and pesticides would combine to cause salting of the land(9). The silting of the dam would occur in decades while previously the forests would enable the agriculture to be continued for millions of years assuring circulation of vital nutrients, while traditional farming would maintain rich diversity and recycling of material taken from the land because they would be small self-sufficient communities. The surge of large dams in India has resulted in uncontrollable floods during the monsoon peaks because the dams fill up simultaneously in a surge of rains(the summer monsoon is a 4 month rain surge) forcing the dams to release water at the same time flooding the subcontinent and consequent mass displacement and deaths of people. This surge is also causing an annual surge of world wide earthquakes- major and great- with its attendant annual surge wave of tragedies of mass deaths(9a and 9b).Modern civilization- you require people who are infallible to manage you so as to keep the consequences harmless to life on a sustained basis! Infallibility is the hallmark most conspicious by its absence! The green revoultion practice of converting everything to cash- and of wasting the topsoil, fuels, human and animal energy- causes enormous problems of pollution in the cities from where the chemical fertilizers, and pesticides, tractors and pumps, etc., and energy come. The result is exhaustion of soil. Nutrients would be lost. Already in the green revolution State of Punjab, farmers are routinely adding zinc to their soils and much costly chemicals(10). And the amount added is increasing from year to year with no assurance of commensurate yield.(11). Poisoning of water bodies is serious with such an agriculture. Groundwater becomes contaminated. And we have the example a la Bhopal(12) of the care that modern civilization takes of life. Such a practice of strip-mining topsoil agriculture will ensure the vanishing of nutrients like the vital trace elements discussed above and the humus , by its practice of non-recycling. Such practice replaces the complexity of the topsoil by a simple chemistry. What are the implications of replacing a whole culture of millennia of farming by a simplification born out of a few years of modern science and technology alone? How deep are the roots of such practice in India? The answers to these questions strike at the very basis of modern civilization(13)– the grave shortcomings of a way of living based on human intelligence alone, a commerce cutting off all links with the past, and beginning anew on the wholly inadequate foundations of a series of artificial specializations of human activity. This caste system of modern civilization is putting its survival in a posture impossible for life to continue(14).

Green Revolution- An Overview

Green Revolution agriculture is business characterized by export of resources-typical of commerce. Metals are mined and exported. Fuels are mined and exported. Machines are made and exported. Energy is produced and exported. Water is stored and exported. Chemicals are stored, synthesised and exported. People are exported. Food is made and exported. Topsoil is exported. Nutrients are exported. Everywhere everything is consumed and exhausted. Poverty is everywhere produced. Diseases are created. Pollution is created. Wealth is wasted. Land is ruined. Health is destroyed. Life is driven to extinction. Let us look at the picture in the Tamilnadu countryside.

Tamilnadu countryside: 1880-1955

There was general decline in the yield of crops during the 1940s. Baker(15) writes: “ One of the most important reasons for the decline, and consequently one of the most important constraints for future growth was the fertility of the soil itself. For many years the Government had monitored acreage, contributed to irrigation, and attempted to develop seeds but only in the war had it begun to take a serious interest in manure.” It is interesting to note that this description refers to the 1940s when Mahatma Gandhi was active practising the recycling of all that had been taken from the land back to the land(16). Similarly, this sort of ignorance prevailed in India when in China it had been the custom for thousands of years to recycle the night soil back to the soil. There was an excellent account available(and still is) for a decade and a half on Chinese practices by F. H King(17) wherein the utilization of waste is given detailed coverage, and an account suited admirably to the imperial Indian condition. Further Baker writes(18): “ In the main rice growing area of the Kaveri delta, tests showed that eighty-seven percent of the soil was deficient in nitrogen and eighty percent deficient in phosphate and this was a major cause of comparatively low yields.”See also (19). Baker’s description does not make any mention of the use of night soil in the area. What was happening in China at that time? King writes,”....The people of the United States and Europe are pouring into the sea, lakes or rivers and into the underground waters, from 5,794,300 to 12,000,000 pounds of nitrogen, 1,881,903 to 4,151,000 pounds of potassium, and 777,200 to 357,600 pounds of phosphorus per million of adult population annually, and this waste we esteem one of the great achievements of our civilization. In the Far East, for more than thirty centuries, these enormous wastes have been religiously saved, and today(1907) the 400 millions of adult population send back to their fields annually 150,003 tons of phosphorus, 376,000 tons of potassium, and 1,158,000 tons of nitrogen comprised in a gross weight exceeding 182 million tons. They are gathered from every home , alike in country and villages and in great cities like Hankow-WuchangHanyang with their 1,770,000 people swarming on land area delimited by a radius of four miles.”

The Industrialization of the Countryside

Let us now look at another type of export of topsoil in the Tamilnadu countryside. Baker(21) writes: “ Although the Government made no historical analysis of the problem, it seems clear as to how the soil became so drained. It is known that the soil nutrients can build up reasonably quickly in tropical countries because of chemical properties of monsoon rain and the rotting power of tropical heat. Moreover, because of certain geological properties, the soils of South India were reasonably rapidly replaced despite constant leaching and erosion by wind and rain. Thus so long as land was not used too intensively, careful rotation and frequent fallowing was probably enough to maintain the level of soil fertility.....Yet in the past century, the usage had become constant, old rotations had been discarded in the quest for cash- crop profits, and new crops and new strains of seed which made heavier demands on the soil had come into use. At the same time manurial practices appear to have remained unchanged, or if anything to have deteriorated.

“ It now seems certain that because of the difficulties of overgrazing the number of cattle and other animals was falling. By the 1940s, it was reckoned that the total resources of cattle manure would supply only 1/25th of the acreage under paddy let alone other crops.” And “cattle manure was still the single most important source of fertilizer”. Baker further states: “The decline went largely uncorrected for several reasons. Firstly it was slow and cumulative and thus easy to neglect.” But how can we explain the neglect to such low levels except in terms of the callousness of the modern outlook- of the compartmentalization of modern industrial business culture(22)? In Hong Kong- a British colony- ancient Chinese practices thrived( of recycling of night soil and other practices) so graphically described by King(23). But when modern civilization can get more for less, why not? Thus says Baker(24): “Secondly, so long as those making the decisions about the use of resources were making increasing profits from cash- crops,they neglected to take notice that others were getting steadily less to eat. Thirdly, so long as the expansion into the virgin deltas of South-East Asia was producing more and more food with relatively low inputs,” it made sense for South Asia to cover its growing deficits through imports.” Further,” until the 1940s, South Asia ignored its most accessible source of extra fertilizer. The oilcake that was produced when oils were pressed from oil seeds, was particularly useful on rain-fed crops and could also be used in paddy cultivation. While the acreage under groundnuts grew rapidly from the late nineteenth century, the use of groundnut cake hardly increased. Evidence collected by the Royal Commission on Agriculture in the 1920s showed that it was little used. Partly of course, this was because the groundnuts were largely exported uncrushed. Yet, even when the seeds were crushed and oilcake was produced in the province, a large portion of the oilcake was sold off for export and used as a fertilizer overseas. As late as 1938-39, 127,000 tons of oilcakes were exported from the province.” In 1985, with our enormous population and constancy of land area, we should expect that oilcakes were used locally as fertilizer. This is not so. Our modern civilization exported in 1979-80, some 850,000 tonnes of oilcake from India worth Rs 127.5 crores(1979-80 rupees). In 1985 we have exempted oilcake from export duty. New firms(25) are coming up manufacturing Soya products or existing firms are expanding, gearing themselves to meet the good export market for Soyameal. To what end our soil? In 1984, no wonder, India produced foodgrains at the rate of less than a tonne per hectare, while China has been producing at the rate of more than four tonnes per hectare. Thus food production in India totalled 150 million tonnes on 150 million hectares or more while in China it was 400 million tonnes on a little less than hundred million hectares. This rate of production in China has been repeating year after year and the soil is as fertile as ever after more than forty centuries.

The Modern Practice of Export of Topsoil

To see clearly how the specialist enterprise of the governments of the world with rare exceptions, in exporting vital commodities, has excluded the health of all life from its consideration, let us get a picture of the present exports of India and compare these with what is required for long- term healthy symbiotic living of plants, animals and people. The annual total exports of products (26) derived from topsoil amounted to about Rs 3350 crores in 1979-80 out of a total of Rs 8970 crores, which is more than 37 percent. These exports are cotton, 90,270 tonnes; manganese ore 634,000 tonnes, iron ore 24.4 million tonnes,; cotton cloth 394 million square metres ; jute 494,000 tonnes; fruits and vegetables worth Rs 181.6 crores; mica Rs 21.5 crores worth; vegetable oils and fats Rs 41.8 crores worth; textile yarn and thread Rs 48 Cr; leather and manufactures Rs 485.6 Cr; cashew kernels Rs 118.1 Cr; essential oils and soaps Rs 33.6 Cr; fish and preparations Rs 249.4 Cr; pepper Rs 33.3 Cr; tobacco 84,000 tonnes; sugar 503,000 tonnes; coffee 61,900 tonnes; tea 197,000 tonnes and oilcakes Rs 127.5 Cr. To increase exports of ores like chromite, iron and others oilcake, the 1985 budget would exempt these from export duty for three years. We can see the order of magnitude of depletion of topsoil by considering that in 1979-80 alone, 531,000 bales of cotton of 170 kg each were exported amounting to an erosion of topsoil of 47 million tonnes, on the basis of 130 tons of topsoil for every bale of cotton traded abroad of 227 kg each(27).

Consider also that manganese is required on a daily basis for human beings alone at the rate of 5 mg per capita. India, in 1995, would have a population of 1400 million or so(The article was written in 1986 and admittedly the figure is high. Taking a figure of 935 million for the 1995 population of India, the annual consumption of manganese would be 1,706 tonnes, not 2,555 tonnes which is for a population of 1400 million-Author). The present rate of annual mining of manganese is 1.74 million tonnes(28). At the rate of mining expected to prevail in 1995, the balance of life of manganese ore in India is only 14 years after 1995(29), that is only till 2009 AD, that is a mere 24 years from now(1985) or less than half a generation. Can we industrially mine manganese at this rate, export it, carrying on merrily our green revolution technology, of wasting our sewage by not recycling to our farms and at the same time maintain the health of all life permanently? Consider this especially when modern civilization has established that manganese is essential for life(30)? How much of essential elements are being lost from our topsoils by the export of millions of tonnes of fruits, vegetables, wheat, rice and other exports mentioned above? How critical is the problem for health(31)? We turn to this study in the subsequent sections.

The Poverty of Knowledge Regarding Life Processes

Through our knowledge of the trace elements for the health of all life, we notice that a number of vitally important factors are unknown. These are(1986):

1. Chromium deficiency in human beings can only be detected after the fact. Only after onset of disease, corrective action can be taken.

2. Research since 1950 has added molybdenum,selenium,chromium, nickel, vanadium,silicon and arsenic to the list of essential elements. Future research may therefore add more elements into the essential category. Examples are fluorine and tin. Already fluorine may have joined the band. What we did not create we must not disregard as irrelevant for life.

3. Since selenium, chromium and arsenic have been shown to be essential for life, it is an exercise in futility to reduce such exposures to thee minimum, as is presently being sought to be done by modernism in isolation of these considerations.

4. Safe and adequate intakes for vanadium, nickel, silicon and arsenic are unknown.

5. Nanogram quantities- traces- of cobalt cause essential functions such as protein synthesis to be carried out. The mechanism is yet to be clarified.

6. Iron and iodine deficiencies result in anemia, growth retardation, goitre and depression of thyroid function and cretenism. Excess of iodine may lead to thyrotoxicosis.

7. The way active transport phase of intestinal absorption of the trace elements is regulated- whether there is a direct harmonal regulation or otherwise is unknown.

The above facts(32) concerning the health of all life vis-a-vis trace elements forcefully indicate that we must keep fertility of the topsoil intact by recycling everything taken from the land back to the land(33). Because the soil transfers health to the plant, the plant to the man and animal. A deficient soil transfers the deficiency onwards to others dependent on it. Because we do not know what we are and what we are eating. If we deplete the soil, we do so at the peril of all life. Especially when traditional lifestyles in rich surroundings, based on millennia of experience upheld the truth of maintaining soil fertility by recycling as is practised for more than forty centuries in China. Equally significant is the fact that when people impoverish the soil, they cause the demise of their once robust civilizations: witness the demise of the Roman, Greek, Mesapotamian, Indus and indeed the poverty of the modern Indian civilization when compared to the robust Chinese(34).

More facts adduced below regarding four trace elements point conclusively to the direction in which modern civilization is heading and also suggest the way we should live so that a permanent healthy culture exists.

Chromium, Copper, Zinc and Selenium Deficiencies and their Implications for a Normal Civilization

1. Marginal deficiencies are difficult to diagnose.

2. Hence we do not know whether they present a risk to the health of people, or even whether they exist, and if so to what extent. “Valid experimental data show that zinc is not only required for growth and development, but also for tissue repair and immuno reactions and that selenium protects animals against chemically or virally induced malignant tumours. But chromium and copper influence recognised risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in experimental animals. The question can only answered by long-term, prospective studies of population groups that are at risk(35). But if ‘marginal deficiencies are difficult to diagnose’, how are we to pinpoint population groups that are at risk? Further, till long- term prospective studies determine the degree of our ignorance, is it not prudent to continue ancient successful practices, like small self-sufficient communities, small-farming, ecologically compatible analogous forestry, diversity, recycling, ecological living of plants, animals and people, on-farm inputs, kindly use of animal energy and enjoying human energy use, etc.?

3. “ The adequacy of dietary intake is difficult to assess for all four elements because the biological availability of each differs and because the numerous interactions among the elements and with other dietary components are difficult to quantify(36).”

If anything clinches the issue of adequacy of tradition based on experience of diversity and recycling of nutrients and the linkage of such a forest based agriculture to the health of the universe, it is this aspect of a science- and the aspect of a culture, which permits a commercialization based on such science and technology alone. We have in our view the ‘dangerous uniformity’(37) that modern industrialization of agriculture is imposing on practices all over, the transformation of the myriad diversities of nature and agriculture into a series of monocultures and standardizations. Health based on imitating nature, practice based on solid ecological experience of thousands of years, the competent farmer(his own boss)(38) applying his own skills in responsible use of the soil, by adapting himself to local conditions, is infinitely superior to one based on a laboratory culture, upon a simplification and generalization incompatible with nature’s sophistication. Laboratory studies would guide us at most to improve our practices, never to replace them. Thus for example ‘ foods of animal origin are better sources of chromium and zinc than food of vegetable origin' and we see in the green revolution State of Punjab, farmers routinely adding zinc to their fields to make good what is lost through non-recycling and hence through the killing of humus; “ selenium is found more in foods of vegetable origin than animal.....Vitamin C enhances the biological availability of iron, depresses that of copper, and in vitro renders selenium totally unavailable.”(However these and many additional interactions, complicate the task of assessing even superficially the adequacy of trace elements of individuals or population groups. They also point out the danger of self-supplementation with vitamin or trace element preparations)(39). Thus this puts a seal on the dangerous practice of addition of artificial chemicals as fertilizers to deficient soils when the transfer properties to living beings from the soil of the chemicals are so poorly known. At least this calls for vigorous research on these aspects. At present the Punjab farmers are routinely adding zinc to the soils and the tea gardens are also adding their quota of trace elements. Further “ silicon requirements of man are unknown and nutrient composition data for silicon are few and unreliable(40).” Silicon however helps to preserve the structural integrity of the aorta. “Silicon, vanadium, nickel and arsenic were all postulated to be essential in the last decade, their mechanisms of action(as of November 1981) have yet to be defined, their deficiencies are difficult to induce and their roles in human nutrition are unknown(41).”

In view of these gaps in our knowledge....

In view of these gaps in our knowledge as enumerated above, how are we justified in washing away the topsoil to the seas and rivers? How are we justified in depleting soil fertility? And we must know what we have eaten and from where in order not to create imbalances in land fertility and consequent disturbances in the quality of food produced and hence in our health. By the same requirement of maintenance of soil fertility, we dare not export food and all that is necessary for the production of wholesome food for all life. The imperative maxim follows immediately: The flow of life-giving essential material must constantly be maintained back to the source whence it came. As we recycle everything that had been taken from the land back to the land, so the wheel of health continues. We must therefore preserve energy in cycles of use. In order to achieve this, that is, in order that the healthy wholeness of life is preserved, we must be able to see easily the flow of matter and energy. The process must be comprehensible to us, must be visible to one and all. How therefore are we justified in anything other than small self-sufficient communities? To preserve a healthy permanence in the broadest sense? We only have to look closely at ourselves in our unwieldy urban monstrosities and the Western societies to the danger that modern civilization has led us into. To quote Mertz(42): “In the developed industrialised societies, the exposure of humans to trace elements from diet and environment has changed during this(20th) century, and the change can be expected to continue. Furthermore, many of our chronic diseases of major public health importance are of unknown or suspected multifactorial origin and theories on their etiology are open to new ideas that might involve many of the new trace elements. Such ideas, however, must be based on knowledge of their basic mechanisms and sites of action, of human requirements for these elements, and of the definition of nutritional status in man.” In the meanwhile, modern civilization is proceeding at full speed with agribusiness, little knowing the nutritional composition of the food it is making. What man has lost in his arrogance of a culture dependent on science and technology alone(43), on the infallibility of his intelligence alone, may have to be made good, in the extreme case, by the same methods, when it is too late to “imitate nature beyond understanding”(44) because there would only be a series of very vulnerable monocultures left of nature- an extreme man-made simplification and hence of its “progressive” and accelerated destruction. As indicated above, modern civilization itself has clearly and unmistakably sounded its own death-knell: Man does not know enough of life processes through modern science and technology to engineer the modern production, consumption and waste economy so as to maintain in the universe a state of permanent health. An economy built pre-eminently on machines, on depletion of resources and waste of all types, is causing the steady degradation of the soil by removal of material from it and has not found out precisely the components it has removed in order to synthesize it back to assure the health of all life. In its helplessness, modern civilization has laid bare the seeds of a new civilization. In India modern civilization has destroyed many of our small communities and built over them unwieldy big cities. The flow of life-giving energy and materials became invisible in this macro world. Trying desperately to make visible the causes of its ills, modern science is busy traversing the micro world only to succeed in showing large gaps in vitally needed information on flow of vital substances. Thus modern civilization is synonymous with blindly groping forward only to be stumped or bowled neck and crop. By choosing the macro- the big city- when it should have improved upon small communities, that is, the micro-it showed its greed. Now by choosing the micro- the synthesis of soil by artificial means, the chemical fertilizers, the trace elements, the destruction of micro-organisms, after exhausting the topsoil by conveying it through the food via the supermarket to the sewer and thence to the seas, it has again proved its inadequacy in the building up of wholesome food by technological means. Here instead of choosing the micro- it should have chosen the macro-keeping the fertility of the soil intact and whole by recirculating the domestic wastes back to the soil in small self-sufficient communities- a long- term sufficiency in a healthy wholeness and convivial symbiosis. The macro here is the small self-sufficient community which takes care of security by designing around our ignorance of the micro-details of life processes. Thus the modern civilization has characteristically broken the small self-sufficient community neatly into two insolvable problems-the sprawling big city at the macro level and ignorance of the fate of essential life-giving substances at the micro level. They can only be solved by falling back on a post modern concept- the village of Mahatma Gandhi. The sooner we adopt our traditional culture with a new knowledge of the imminent demise of modern civilization, so much to the better for the health of all life for a long time to come. Thousands of years ago, in another time of crisis, the Bhagavadgita taught us:

“ ....when one doth a thing

Heedless of issues, heedless of the hurt

Or wrong for others, heedless if we harm

His own soul-“it’s Tamas, black and bad!”(45)

All human activity is indivisible, indeed everything is connected to everything else. The way appears to be indisputable towards small self-sufficient communities, ‘each a biosphere by itself’(46).

Forest-based culture

“....I penetrate the clay, and lend all shapes

Their living force; I glide into the plant-

Root, leaf and bloom- to make the woodlands green

With springing sap. Becoming vital warmth,

I glow in glad, respiring frames, and pass,

With outward and with inward breath, to feed

The body by all means.” [The Bhagavadgita]

The Perfect Way

The perfect way is to recognise the overwhelming superiority of a forest-based culture over all other forms. All life produce and use natural electricity at just one volt or thereabouts, as a basic need. In order to take a fresh look at the forgetful nature of modern civilization, which seeks a world pre-eminently based on the artificial machnie, let us briefly examine nine commonly known trees for their usefulness to us, for our health. The nine trees are Sesban, Neem, Karanj, Palmyra, Moringa Oleifera, Tamarind, Mango, Jackfruit and Fig(Ficus Glomerata). Each tree has certain unique health functions which are peculiar to that species only(47). Thus Sesban for anemia; Neem for consumption and as an insecticide; Karanj for ascites, diseases of the brain, keratitis, herpes and strengthening of the gums;Palmyra for enlargement of the spleen, delivery, as a sweet, dropsy, chronic gonorrhea, gangrenous ulcerations, etc.; Moringa tree for stuttering, analgesic, tuberculous glands in the neck, muscle diseases, obstinate asthma,calculus affections, otalgia, epilepsy, hysteria, tetanus, dental caries, abortion, neuralgia, scurvy, fainting, nervous debility, as a cardiac stimulant, etc.; Tamarind for inflammatory swellings, vertigo, sprains, gastritis, diseases caused by deranged bile, fomentations, stomach troubles, conjunctivitis, etc.; Mango for beautifying and improving the complexion, nasal bleeding, as an anti-syphilitic, diphtheria, malignant throat diseases, catarrh of the bladder, fumigation against mosquitoes, etc.; Jackfruit tree for nervous sedative, glandular swellings and convulsions; Fig(Ficus Glomerata) for hydrophobia, gravid uterus, loss of voice, disease of the kidney, cancer, urinary diseases, mumps and rinder-pest. The meaning of unity in diversity is evident from these living examples of kindly use of natural resources. The evidence is overwhelming for a tree culture.

In the interim?

A forest-based culture as practised by traditional societies, as proved by thousands of years of experience, by living out kindly use of nature, to provide a long-term food supply by making food a cultural product(48) in India, has so far been held in neglect. This must cease and give way to a healthy strengthening of such societies, in which a diversity based agriculture is practiced, which effectively recycles water and nutrients from city sewage for example. As is being practised by post-modern cultures, examples of which are to be found occasionally in India and commonly in China, every transport that comes to the city with food shall go back with a load of organic fertilizer made from city wastes(not industrial but domestic). Agriculture is really the art of cultivating the ground- of raising all kinds of trees(ecologically and analogously compatible) for healthy food and plants like grain and pulses(49). Agriculture should model itself by the forest floor(50).Agriculture must be practised along with huge forests which automatically circulate nutrients and water. Also wilderness should thrive in domesticity(51). All this is old hat for traditional Indian farming(52). There must again be a full appreciation of the fantastic functions performed by the forest compared to artificial agriculture typified by irrigation by large dams, high yielding seeds, chemicals and mechanical equipment displacing animals, plants and manual labour, in short, displacing whole traditional communities, the local resource base. Forests provide water and nutrients both for upstream as well as downstream users without an intervening dam in between, provided forests proliferate. Look at the way we are living at present: We find that 150 million tonnes of food grains are too much for us at present and we have started exporting wheat(53). But what we are growing on 150 million hectares, as China has shown, can be grown on 50 million hectares or less. And if we release the 100 million hectares for forests! Do we then need to have dams or floods? Rivers will flow uniformly as demonstrated by Project Tiger. Rainfall will become regular(54). Life will become diverse. Wilderness will again thrive. The air will once again become pure. Water will be crystal clear. Ecologists are crying hoarse that everything is linked to everything else, that nature knows best and that there is no free lunch(55).If only we utilise our excess wheat for growing forests- thick forests- with the help of self-sufficient communities of the unemployed. The role of living energy is legendary in the incomparable economy with which it uses land in the harvest of essential services it provides; the living examples are the forests with their community of wild life and good farming. The story has been told by farmers of many countries(56). The life of Mahatma Gandhi is there before us, with his living campaigns of constructive work. The living treatise on the post-modern civilization is of course the Bhagavadgita for a civilization based on ‘enough’- a long-term sufficiency, rather then a temporary enterprise of exhaustion. Sewage which is wasted today in our modern civilization can be dynamically stabilised, could produce its own motive power on line in the process by generating biogas while reaching back to the fields from where all the nutrition contained in the sewage originated. Of course the cities must not contaminate domestic sewage with industrial wastes. Just as we use gravity flow to provide fresh drinking water, can we similarly make sewage flow as far as feasible utilising the natural contour of the land, so that biogas becomes sufficient to drive the biofertilizer back to the soil. The sewage would flow in plug flow fashion and in the process become stabilised, with the help of anaerobic bacteria. Of course now some 50 percent of our towns and cities use a small quantity of the all India sewage on sewage farms, more by default than for farming, the preoccupation being how to dispose off the waste on land, on small portions at greatly concentrated levels. Dadar Sewage Works in Mumbai is an example of how biogas, biofertilizer and water are produced and used in the neighbourhood. Thus the nucleii for a post- modern normal civilization do exist. It is the critical levels of balance between care and use in contradistinction to modern impoverishment and pollution that is at stake.

Proliferate small self-sufficient communities on a war- footing

Everybody will be busy in such an enterprise of creating forests, recognising his/her limits, by seeing his/her position in creation, leading a responsible life by choice. The first step is to simultaneously (a) recycle our wastes, (b) prepare fertility study of our soil and regularly monitor the soil(soil history). We must compare the damage we are doing to our soils by non-recycling of “wastes”(the export of our topsoils) with control areas of good small farming in small self-sufficient communities where the results of life activities are visible, where recycling of everything taken from the land back to the land is religion and practice. An extra monitoring of the health of the people in both types of areas should be carried out on a continuous basis. An excellent example of the interaction of forests with agriculture exists in Kerala and an interaction of tidal power with civilization in the Kuttanad area of the same State. An example of modern agricultural practice is Punjab. The accent should be on farm inputs, in contrast to purchased inputs- this is obvious from the sheer magnitude of the number of people, of the diversity of forest lands and the agroclimatic areas. Instead of destroying the local resource base(57) and resorting to exports everywhere, we should make self-sufficiency based on forests as our culture. Food must again become a ‘cultural product’(58). The way we have destroyed our forests and in the process of planning to destroy them(Narmada Valley, Bhopalapatnam, Ichampalli and the recent aggressions on wild life planned and perhaps to be executed) and replace them with the simplification that is industrialization is the shorter transient destructive way. The harder way leading to a permanent civilization based on the health of all life is to back-track from this “short-circuiting of human culture”(59) and putting all our efforts to get back to balance- plant and maintain the rich diversity of forests again. There is no other way than that of nature. And come to think of it that all this works by natural electricity derived from solar energy, at about one volt and countless amperes of current, shockless and hence friendly and by preserving energy in cycles of use. And yes, this is realised by the nuclear energy of the sun some one hundred fifty million kilometers remote from the earth, the great connector of all lives. Thus we must co-exist -plants, animals and human beings- we human beings must once again employ our energy, human energy and enjoy health(60). By carefully balanced mechanical advantaging where necessary, we will get what we need for all time, by preserving the wheel of life, recognising that it is after all, an infinitely superior way, the healthy way, of using land than purely mechanically derived means. And in the process, let us create permanent health, beauty, fragrance, rich folk culture where there will be singing while we work, where there will be home in the midst of work, work indistinguishable from enjoyment wreathed in smiles, in small communities, where the purpose is visible at every step.

The Delusion of Modern Civilization

Again and again, modern civilization puts forth a machine as the forseeable solution to our problems, which of course was its own creation in the first place. We must recognise the limits of our new gadget before adopting it. Nature is overwhelmingly superior to any man-made gadget because nature has evolved over millions of years and because it builds in a multiplicity of functions in its effort to be economical in its use of the earth. It is deeply spiritual. As an example of the machine we have the solar photovoltaic cell which harnesses the energy and frequencies of the sun to produce electricity. But its space use is very poor, some ten megawatts per square kilometer of power production.

Its energy use in devices is at a much lower efficiency. Thus if we use incandescent lamps, the energy production and use is at of about one half of one percent of the above figure or some 0.15 megawatts per square kilometer of energy production. For comparison, the efficiency with which nature harvests, that is, produces and uses energy, is of the order of one thousand megawatts per square kilometer and this is not the ‘record’! Thus the machine would harvest the energy of the sun at some six thousand times more land use than what nature does. It is infinitely superior to enjoy using our own energy by producing light using bicycles, cycle dynamos and cycle lamps! Because first of all, we will be performing this as only one of our functions. Secondly, it is living energy that is being used and we will be preserving this energy in cycles of use when we recycle our excrements and other wastes back to the fields. And living energy of forests and of the farms produce harvests by using solar energy at 60 to 90 percent efficiency and at economical land use as pointed out above. Agriculture produces its harvests at about 250 megawatts per square kilometer! Similarly we will be preserving energy when we use animal energy for water pumping and pedal power for producing cloth and in other village industries. How human beings in modern civilization are urged to waste their energy in order to remain fit(stationary bicycles)! Let us therefore contain modern civilization within its legitimate limits of use rather than merely for profit or money, while we get back to traditional ways of healthy life. A sensitive poem by Wendell Berry expresses it powerfully(61). To get an idea of the nature of the development see (62).

References and Notes.

1. Guha, R.,”Forestry in British and Post-British India”, Economic and Political Weekly, 29 October and 5-12 November 1983.

2. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd. Statistical Outline of India (Tata Services Ltd., Mumbai,1982).

3. Ibid.

4. Mertz, W.,”Micronutrients you can’t do without”, Science Today, November 1981, pp.61-66.

5. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd., op.cit.

6. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd., op.cit.

7. Mertz, op.cit.

8. Berry, W., The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (Avon, New York,1977).

8a. Dhalberg K.A.,’Plant Germplasm Conservation: Emerging Problems and Issues’,Mazingra, vol 7, no. 1. 1983-United Nations Environment Programme. Referred to on p. 353 in A Time to Bloom: Towards Change, Part Four of the book: Bertell, Dr. R., No Immediate Danger: Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth(The Women’s Press, London, 1985)

9. Modern Civilization creates large dams across rivers. Thus the process of washing the salts dissolved out of rock normally into the sea carried out by rivers is arrested by this type of irrigation. And evaporation and transpiration in monocultures concentrates the salts in the soil. Instead of gravity- oriented drainage that the natural contour of the river offered and followed in traditional small-scale farming,(King, op cit) the big mechanised farm would be forced to mechanise the drainage of water to avoid the problem of salting of the land. See for example, Pillsbury, “The Salinity of Rivers”, Scientific American, 24.1.1981,pp.32-41.

9a. See the author’s 2006 URL:

9b. Identifying the cause of the worldwide annual surge of earthquakes has led to easy prediction of major and great worldwide earthquakes. See the author’s URL:

10. Agarwal, A.,”Beyond Pretty Trees and Tigers”’ Fifth Vikram Sarabhai Lecture, (National Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi, 1984).

11. Dogra, B.,Poverty, Development and Poverty(Bharat Dogra, Delhi,1984).

12. Ramaseshan, R.,”Bhopal Tragedy: Profit Against Safety”, Economic and Political Weekly, 22-29 December 1984.

13. For example see Mertz, op.cit., Berry, op.cit. and Dogra, op.cit

14. Berry, op.cit and Pyarelal, op.cit.

15. Baker, C.J., An Indian Rural economy(1880-1955): The Tamilnadu Countryside.(Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1984), pp. 512ff. Quotations by permission of the publishers.

16. Pyarelal, Towards New Horizons (Navjivan Publishing House, ahmedabad,1959).

17. King, F.H.,Farmers of Forty Centuries or Permenent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan (Jonathan Cape, London,1927).

18. Baker, op. cit.

19. Pyarelal, op.cit.,p.162: “During the years 1920-25, over 520,000 tons of bones alone were exported from India, impoverishing the soil in respect of lime and phosphates to that extent.”

20. King, op. cit.

21. Baker, op. cit.

22. Berry, op. cit., p. 21: “In living in the world by his own will and skill, the stupidest peasant or tribesman is more competent than the most intelligent worker or technician or intellectual in a society of specialists.”

23. King, op. cit.

24. Baker, op. cit

25. Hansavivek reported in “Improved Performance” in Economic and Political Weekly, 19 January 1985 that “ cakes are in good demand in the export market for its protein content. In a short period, the company has established a market for its soyameal abroad....” He was writing on a new company. Elsewhere he reports: “ When completed in 1986, the new soyameal business...... will also earn foreign exchange from export of soyameal The company also planned to extend its export of cashew and other nuts.... Cashew kernel exports constituted a sizable addition to export activity.”

26. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd., op. cit.

27. Sears, P. B., Deserts on the March (University of Oklahoma Press, Oklahoma, 1959).

28. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd., op. cit.

29. Department of Economics and Statistics, Tata Services Ltd., op. cit.

30. Mertz, op. cit.

31. Pyarelal, op. cit., p. 25: “Can any wonerdrug or wizardry of modern surgery make up for the alarming spread of cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases due to ‘modern living’? We first deprive the people the benefits of natural life: fresh air, sunshine and fresh whole foods by uprooting from their natural environment and aggregating them in specialised areas and then try to provide them with artificial ultraviolet light, concentrated vitamins, public parks, air-conditioning and suburban workers’ settlements as substitutes. And what poor substitutes they are! The colossal problems of natural health and fitness this creates; providing of transport and civic amenities, sickness, old age and unemployment insurance benefits to masses of men cut off from the springs of vitality swells the budget of social costs. The biological cost and the cost in terms of social unrest, class conflict and mental ill-health; reckless squandering of natural resources and the resulting deterioration of man’s inheritance are even heavier...” but the indeterminate future in which the consequences were to manifesat are already here. Again, ibid, p.26:”Nothing can be cheaper than Khadi when it is produced from from the cotton grown by the consumer himself for his own use. Nor can any supply of synthetic vitamins take the place of what home-grown fresh vegetables, unprocessed whole foods and sunshine provide free to the worker who works upon and lives on and out of his plot of land....” Or again Mahatma Gandhi in ibid: “ Granting for a moment that machinery may provide all the needs of humanity, still it would concentrate production in particular areas, so that you would have to go about in a round-about way to regulate distribution, whereas, if there is production and distribution both in the respective areas where things are required, it is automatically regulated, there is less chance for fraud, none for speculation.... when production and consumption both become localised, the temptation to speed up production, indefinitely at any price, disappears.” Further, ibid. p. 28: “ Your mass production is ....production by the fewest possible number through the aid of highly complicated machinery....My machinery must be of the most elementary type which I can put in the homes of millions.” Berry, op. cit., describes the type of traditional agriculture, which can be called permanent and healthy by citing the example of the practice of the people of Uchucmarca in the Peruvian andes. See also King, op. cit. In the Gandhi type agriculture above, the farmer is both manager and labourer at the same time. Here “ production itself should be a source of life, joy and freedom , instead of any one of these being sacrificed to production and all to money values.”(Pyarelal, op. cit.).

32. Mertz, op. cit.

33. Pyarelal, op. cit

34. Pyarelal, op. cit., p. 35: “ The evidence of skeletal remains from civilizations that have passed away shows that growth of urbanism, commercialism, decay of farming and consumption of imported foodstuffs resulting in prevalence of certain ‘diseases of civilization’ such as bad teeth, rheumatism, gouts, etc. invariably heralded the decline of these civilizations....”

35. Mertz, op.cit.

36. Mertz, op.cit.

37. Berry, op. cit.

38. Berry, op. cit.

39. Mertz, op. cit.

40. Mertz, op. cit.

41. Mertz, op. cit.

42. Mertz, op. cit.

43. Berry, op. cit., and Pyarelal, op. cit.

44. Berry, op. cit.

45. Arnold, E., The Song Celestial or Bhagavad Gita(Abbey, Swizerland, circa 1900)

46. Agarwal, op. cit.

47. Kirtikar, K. R. And Basu, B.D., Indian Medicinal Plants, revd. Edn. By Blatter, E.,Cacus, J. F., and Bhaskar, K. S.(L. M. Basu, allahabad, Circa 1933).

48.Walker, A.W.,”Indian Agriculture”, 1820 A.D., in Dharmpal, Indian Science and Technology in the Eighteenth Century (Impex India, Delhi, 1971): “ In the present political state of India, the connection and dependence of the greatest part of that fine country on the British Government, renders it an imperious duty for us to use every prudent and proper means for the improvement of its condition; but we should be careful in these attempts at amelioration not to throw it back, and obstruct its progress, by too hastily condemning the practices of the country, which have been sanctioned by experience, and have their utility in local circumstances. The minds and inclinations of the people should be consulted wherever their own interests are concerned. In general their experience is the best guide... It should also be well considered how far our agricultural process is suited to the cultivation of rice, the great crop of India, and of which we have no experience.... We ought to remember that India has very little occasion for the introduction of new plants for food. There are more kinds of grain cultivated perhaps, than in any other part of the world. She also has a vast variety of nutritious roots, and as a fruit, the plantain alone supplies her with the most nourishing diet....” see also Guha, op. cit.

49. Walker, op. cit.

50. Berry, op. cit.

51. Ibid.

52. Kothari, A., and Bhartari, R.,”Narmada Valley Project: Development or Destruction?”’, Economic and Political Weekly, 2-9 June 1984. See also Walker, op. cit.

53. Kothari, et al, op.cit.

54. Brown, J. C.,Forests and Moisture (Oliver and Boyd, Edingurgh, 1877).

55. Arnold, op. cit.

56. Berry, op. cit., Pyarelal, op. cit. and King, op. cit.

57.Kothari, et al, op. cit., and Brown, op. cit.

58. Berry, op. cit.

59. Ibid.

60. Pyarelal, op. cit.

61. Berry, Wendell, " A Vision" in Clearing (Harcourt, Brace and Javanovich, New York, 1974).

62. Ashok Kumar, R., Naturalecologies solution to droughts and floods in the URL:


Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

End modern civilization. Usher in a normal civilization where nature gross product is increased and pollution becomes zero and the overall cost to the economy becomes zero where return is practiced.
Imperishable is the supreme/ Its location inside each individual is called Adhyatma. / The offering in return which causes the genesis and support of beings is Karma.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

Modern civilization shut down by the lowly coronavirus to restore good air and some respite to life unable to breathe. See

6:44 AM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

From this article it is clear that the central government must repeal the various bills referred to with immediate effect and improve farmers and others' prospects for healthy living by extensive discussions about the issues in forums provided by the constitution- the parliament reconvening, by holding referendum throughout the nation, including grama sabhas over an extended period of time. Now imitate nature beyond understanding! Create a level playing field now for the 2 acre farmer or the share cropper or other disadvantaged citizens. Being so crossly unjust and suicidal in the midst of the COVID19 pandamic is nothing short of killing us all. Before you kill us all however the love and affection that all life has for one another in various diverse ecological natural ways will hand over the punishment of extinction to the uncaring human species, a junior partner in nature. Beware Modi beware! Learn and reform to lead us all to a healthy prosperous natural way of life. Learn that nature is the way to develop. COVID19 is signalling us to end this suicidal modern civilization and hurriedly change over to normal life based on public interest science. Public interest science deals with those issues untouched by the disciplines developed by vested interests. Like providing at site facilities for the 2 acre farmer or citizen owner to confront with truth and outwit on an equal basis the crony corporates with their huge powers using these new farm laws. ‘IF YOU WILL HAVE YOUR LAWS WITHOUT MUTINY,SEE WELL THAT THEY BE PIECES OF GOD ALMIGHTY’S LAW; OTHERWISE ALL THE ARTILLERY IN THE WORLD WILL NOT KEEP DOWN MUTINY.’ –CARLYLE quoted by MORONEY in his book FACTS FROM FIGURES(1951).
Note that the defining normal way is so eloquently brought out in this article on modern and normal civilizations. The farmers are so righteously up in mutiny against the DEFARMATION laws.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

The world's dams are driving the mutation of the virus and the spread of the virusus and many other consequences like causing earthquakes, extremes of rain, extremes of temperature of the earth, cyclones, droughts, floods, fires, nuclear reactor melts, ocean mixing, climate change, lifting up and bringing down mountains like Mt. Everest in every hydrological cycle and habitat change with loss of diversity, loss of species, driving pollutants from place to place, supported by omnicidal forms of geological, radiological, chemical and biological changes wrought by other contraptions of modern civilization. Its time to initiate good conduct leading to genesis and support of all life and abiota. See it is not just a singlet of a phenomenon interacting with nature. For example, in UK the pioneer of half baked specialist industrial revolution based on false knowledge, mu-tiny by nature is reacting to the wild man to get rid of him. Mahatma Gandhi saw this and wrote about it in Hind Swaraj(1908) and the timeless authorless teachings of the Gita show us the way to live: Imperishable is the Supreme; its dwelling in each individual being is called Adhyatma. Our offering in Return, which causes the genesis and support of beings is called Karma! And we must go about this Karma in the way shown by the Gita: From food creatures become, food comes from rain, rain from practicing Return, Return from Karma; Karma from true knowledge, true knowledge from Ishwara! People must renature the earth, realising nature provides all their needs. True development is renaturing the earth-Reverdure be thy calling NOW. That gives fruitful employment for all of us. See Ramaswami Ashok Kumar. 1986. Modern and Normal Civilizations. GANDHI MARG.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

By not applying public interest science to planning with nature is development as the bottomline, the root cause of modern civilization's ongoing suicide is not seen. For example the fundamental role of dams in climate change is missed. Thus the policy made hitherto by specialists must give way to the bottomline that nature is development so the human being is not relegated to the fossil records by nature. We are witness to the collision of two low pressure systems both in uttarkhand and kerala due to very high temperatures induced in the earth by the entire weight of the World's lakes suddenly appearing at the two locations. This is the root cause of the rains,and the landslides and deaths and damages.The specialists are ignorant about this.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...


Democracy is basically suppressed in modern civilization, a society of specialists. Witchcraft prevails in modern civilization. For reasons of profiteering by rulers, public interest science is suppressed in favor of witchcraft. An example is the way internal ionizing radiation effects are deduced on the basis of external irradiation effects. The consequences are cancer pandemics around the world.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Ramaswami Ashok Kumar said...

This is suicide of the human race. The glaring disasters being wrought by world dam dynamics is ignored. Fukushima was subjected to the effects of a 9.1 magnitude shallow earthquake caused by dams of the world on March 11,2011. The temperature of its foundations rose by some 100 million degrees Kelvin in 50 minutes, The difference in the boiling points of uranium and plutonium led to plutonium reaching critical mass and its three cores melted and exploded and disappeared. A tsunami which followed destroyed the station to such an extent that it is disabled now. They have a plan to let out the radiochemically contaminated water stored there to be released into the Pacific Ocean. 30000 people lost their lives and thousands are displaced from the villages which were thriving before. India post tsunami has having sitting duck nukes at Kudankulam. All these are useless actions and dynamic energy audit shows that the 20000 MW nukes will perpetually consume energy for their own waste upkeep hundred times more than they ever deliver to society outside the nuke industry. The 3000 billion cubic meters of dam content change that occurred in 50 minutes at Fukushima Daichi may as well occur at Kudankulam. Why Kalpakkam pumps were disabled by submergence in the last tsunami that occurred on account of a 9.3 magnitude earthquake in the Andaman Sea in December 2004. The design is based on outmoded knowledge regarding effects of internal radioactive emitters and this is resulting an epidemic of cancers. Stop nukes now. You foolish rulers! Life is not due to your generosity. Its our birthright-of all life. It is foolhardy to claim that climate change problem will be mitigated by nukes.Demolish the dams and reforest. Change over to a life style that is normal and respects nature as the true path of development.

4:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home