Published on 2015- 2016
Silk Route 2.0 and the Traditional Artists Weavers and Artists of Asia
We, the members of Weavers, Artisan and Traditional Artists Guild(WATAG) watag.in/ need to put some thought into the Silk Route. From 2013 China has launched Silk Route 2.0 project to facilitate development of long term infrastructure in and around the world. Bengal, is one of the key corner stones of this massive development project. But it is very difficult to say the dwindling relation between China and India may harm the Bengal's cause. It is an undeniable fact that traditional indigenous knowledge traditional skill based rural artists and artisans of Asia, India and Bengal, was the key movers of the erstwhile traditional north and south Silk Routes. Traders use to market rural products worldwide by it. Before the deindustrialization by the Europeans, Asia use to enjoy trade surplus because of this rural Sudra producers and Baishya Traders. The humongous Trade surplus enjoyed by the PRC, help them to push the cause of infrastructure building aggressively in the form of Silk Route 2.0 worldwide so that they can counter the casino capitalism of the west effectively through the longterm investment and creating infrastructure. WATAG feels this is one of the newer sweeter version of the worldwide single SEZ project as it relies on Big Capital investment and it usually inherits all the vices of the development paradigm of Big Capital - like forced eviction, land grabbing etc. and Silk Route 2.0 facing massive protest around the world as people saw the ugly faces of the Big Capital Intensive Type of Developmental Projects. As far as the information shared in the public domain by the PRC and their PR firms, WATAG felt that in the Silk Route 2.0 project, the traditional skill knowledge wisdom based artists and artisans and weavers of the villages of Asia are not the part of this project. As this Silk Route 2.0 project has a long teething period, it wouldbe wiser to include us the rural artisan throughout the world so that the Silk Route 2.0 project can marlet the produces of the biggest village hinterland without investing considerable capital. If the PRC make traditional artists and artisans of the world their friend in Silk Route 2.0 project, the feasibility of the project will be considerably high and the development of the world will see a new lease of life as the people to people communication, business and exchange of ideas will be much easier. Philosophically it will be unwise to declude the traditional artists and artisan from Silk Route 2.0 project. Hope the PRC and other agencies involved into this make an ear into this.