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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sustainability Series : Choku Speaks

In response to my request for thoughts on sustainability Chockalingam Muthiah, a wise friend of mine was kind enough to provide his insights in a mail (reproduced below). Choku, as he is known is a genuine Green Karmayogi, one who put's his money where his mouth is. A Gandhian who has changed his entire life around the concept of sustainability also practices Natural Farming apart from being a successful businessman. Choku is one of the few who has walked the talk and has been living off-grid in the middle of bangalore for almost 4 years now.

Hi shiv,

There is so much in the language we use that we do not pause to know the meaning but use it because they are fashionably in vogue.

Amazing, great, fine, cool and so many more.

Sustainability is one such word.

So i am trying to find out what is sustainable.
To be able to sustain what?

"being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged " - Merriam-Websters

This is the current english meaning from the Dictionary and it was not very convincing for me.
So i went to root word:

"L. sustinere "hold up, support, endure" - Etymology, Latin.

Hold up, support or endure what?

We do even more with our lives to the extent perhaps even our creator had not envisaged at the time of Adam or Eve.

I feel the key is, we should take charge of our lives to be able to support or endure.

Even for the basic needs we depend on Electricity boards, Water supply Board, of late the cola giants for water, Corporates for food and the list ever boring.

One of our learned freedom fighters, who was also a qualified economist, observed that we fit our legs into a standard size shoe whereas our feet are supposed to be clothed by the footwear.
In my childhood we always stiched hardy shoes that were measured for my feet and the arche support etc.

We have become so mediocre that we go to malls and pride ourselves in shopping the best.

My son wants one for football, one for cricket, one for school and of course one to look cool.

Centralised supplies will corrupt us, make us mediocre, fits us in standard sizes, are inefficient because of cross subsidy, and the consumption economy it serves, is wastefull of resources.

I believe we all can sustain life on earth if we decentralise and disconnect from the grid supplies of everything.

Communal or individual arrangement for consumption will only be sustainable and give us the fitness and time to enjoy the life of being.

Less of doing translates to more of being.

We are human beings afterall!



The World has enough for everyone's needs,
but never enough for one man's greed:

1 comment:

  1. Shiv,

    great series and a nice article to start with.

    I just happened to read this article and thought you might like it.