Workshop on right based approach to social change in Kolar and Davangere – Date will be announced shortly >
“Justice, peace, freedom and human dignity are the core principles that the Palestinians long for. The occupation of the Palestine lands by Israel using its military might should end.”
Praxis was started in 1980 by several committed social activists and progressive thinkers. Praxis came into existence at a very significant period of Indian history.
India was hardly two and a half decade old independent nation. At the dawn of independence, our country saw a government with the most committed leaders led by a visionary Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. These leaders knew the value of our nation. They made huge sacrifices to create this nation. They were filled with the desire to make this nation a great and prosperous land where all its citizen would be happy. The entire country was filled with enthusiasm to build this new nation that would be secular, socialist and democratic. Nehru thought massive industrialization and big dams to achieve agricultural growth would do the magic of transforming this nation into a prosperous people.
In a matter of fifteen years India was well on the path of industrial revolution to make it the 9th most industrialized country in the world. The green Revolution too had converted Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Maharasthra, Parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala into the granaries of the world.
In this reverberating progress of our country, unfortunately, the rural poor were left out. The urban areas saw a growth in massive slums. Eighty percent of the population of the country was untouched by the magic of progress.
The political system too, had begun to show the signs of deterioration. Almost all those great leaders who had given their lives for the independence of the country had become part of the glorious history of India. The power mongers and corrupt politicians had occupied their seats.
It did not take too long for discontent and revolt to brew. The urban industrial workers, who were organized under central trade unions, were the first ones to start with their revolts. The rural poor were unorganized. The left parties who spoke in the name of the poor either remained with the industrial workers or were saddled with the peasants who had been liberated from their feudal lords and become neo-landlords.
It was the turn of the Naxalbari to express their anger against the ills of the society and articulate the aspirations of the poor for a different social order. The late sixties saw the emergence of the Naxalite movement. Many youths from urban middle class were drawn into this movement.
Given the half baked nature of their analysis and ideology and adventurism in politics, this massive movement began to see its downfall. The radical but dogmatic movement lived only for a decade. But it left its mark on the history.
The question of social change continued to burn the hearts of many young and old, radical thinkers and activists. There was a search for a new way – a search for a new Praxis. This search gave birth to PRAXIS.
Rev Fr.Stan Louruswamy, Director Indian Institute(ISI), Fr. Duarte Barreto, Asst Director Indian Institute (ISI), MsAlleyamma, Coordinator, P.C.O. Trivandrum, Mr.SidharthKurien of ICRA, MsTresa Mathew and Mr. Alex Tuscano were some of the founder members of Praxis.