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Satish Kumar

Peace Pilgrim and editor Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Bodmin, Cornwall

 

Resurgence is, it’s thought, the longest-running environmental magazine in Britain. In the early 1970s it nearly went bankrupt but in 1973, Satish Kumar became editor – and remains to this day. Satish is a long way from being a conventional magazine editor. He is a former religious novice, born in the Indian town of Sri Dungargarh, in Rajasthan, who became a Jain novitiate at the age of nine, remained with the monkhood until he was 18, then ran away in search of relevance, became a campaigner for land reform and in the early 1960s was fired with enthusiasm by the example of Bertrand Russell and the cause of peace. At the age of 26, he was one of two peace campaigners who walked 8,000 miles from Delhi to Washington by way of London in support of nuclear disarmament. During Satish’s youth in India, he became imbued with the ideals both of Gandhi and another influential Indian peace worker, Vinoba Bhave, so his editorship has marked a fusion of two complementary critiques of Western developed society. From Schumacher, Papworth et al came an intellectual radicalism, with its roots in what Schumacher called ‘Buddhist economics’. From Gandhi, Bhave, Jainism, Rajasthan – and Satish – came not only a profound collective experience of non-violence, but a sense of timeless traditions, of the interconnectedness of life, rooted in the Indian village and the inherent practical value of work, creativity and community. From its original base in London, Resurgence, perhaps not surprisingly in view of these traditions, moved to Wales and later to Devon, where its is now edited from Satish’s home in Hartland by a small team. Resurgence is as much family and community as magazine. You could, if you wanted to extend the metaphor, describe it as a kind of village newsletter – though the village is a global one (it has readers in 20 countries) and its Contents List extends far beyond the parish pump. But at least the idea of a village gets across its allegiance to the place we live – not merely the planet Earth but that particular bit of the Earth each individual inhabits. Resurgence is about both – the Earth we all inhabit and the Earth each one of us inhabits.

www.resurgence.org