People's Archive of Rural India
Connexions Directory of Groups & Websites 2020
Purpose: Recording the everyday lives of everyday people.
"Can a project's success be judged on the basis of its never being completed? Yes, if it's a living archive of the world's most diverse and complex countryside. Rural India is in many ways the most diverse part of the planet. Its 833 million people include distinct societies speaking well over 700 languages, some of them thousands of years old....
The same diversity characterises rural Indian occupations, arts and crafts, culture, literature, legend, transportation. As the Indian countryside rushes through an extremely painful transformation, many of these features disappear, leaving us poorer....
Much of what makes the countryside unique could be gone in 20-30 years. Without any systematic record, visual or oral, to educate us -- let alone motivate us - to save this incredible diversity. We are losing worlds and voices within rural India of which future generations will know little or nothing. Even as the present one steadily sheds its own links with those worlds....
There is surely much in rural India that should die. Much in rural India that is tyrannical, oppressive, regressive and brutal -- and which needs to go. Untouchability, feudalism, bonded labour, extreme caste and gender oppression and exploitation, land grab and more. The tragedy, though, is that the nature of the transformation underway more often tends to bolster the regressive and the barbaric, while undermining the best and the diverse. That too, will be captured here. PARI is both a living journal and an archive. It will generate and host reporting on the countryside that is current and contemporary, while also creating a database of already published stories, reports, videos and audios from as many sources as we can. All PARI's own content comes under the Creative Commons and the site is free to access."
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