Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Winter, the way we know it has not as yet happened. This time last year we were digging out of snow banks, scraping our cars each morning and lamenting the white refuse all around us and wondering if spring will ever reach us.

Local knowledge has it that if it does not snow when it is supposed to, bad things happen. Bad things like unclean air, illnesses and general uncertainty. This is similar to people anxiously waiting for monsoons to wash away the heat and dust of summer in India and bringing forth a fresh lease of life. Not as comparable! O.K., let's say Diwali which happens in October or November (depending on the position of the sun and the moon) would be fairly after the monsoons and after we have had some uncertain weather. The chemicals released in the
fireworks that were used in the festival are supposed to cleanse the air of bacteria that would not otherwise budge. Maybe they do maybe they don't.

But I developed an ear problem because of this uncertain weather that I have never experienced earlier. I don't feel it but I have been told that I have a congestion as a result of which my Eustachian tube is affected. Should I do something - apply some meds, drink some magic potion to make the discomfort go away, jump up and down maybe...? Medical advice rejected all my suggestions. How about Vitamin C - I know about its qualities to build resistance? No, said the doctor and prescribed decongestants. He KNOWS more about my illness and so I chose not to argue with him. But he DOES NOT know me! I just might take
Vitmins-maybe some fruit juice and wait for my discomfort to melt away.

There is the great pride in knowledge and specially self-knowledge. It has been argued that local and indigenous knowledge is related to the entire culture of a people, including its identity and spiritual and religious beliefs. While some scientists and development planners may see traditional knowledge as a means of resolving certain development problems, the people themselves see it as part of their overall culture, vital to their survival as peoples.Likewise my logic is derived intrinsically from my socialization and my reflection of my undertanding,
learning and rigor.

In today's world, the differential access and control of knowledge often reflects the inequality, exclusion and conflict. Knowledge has always been exclusively restricted to the initiated few who organized and furthered the principles of exclusion. Unlike sytemicatic knowledge of the present times, indigenous and local knowledge bases are fluid, transmitted orally and remains unrecorded for the most part. Let's not look for validation of these knowledge systems. As far as I am concerned they are all true.