I have essentially already answered this question in the negative, in several previous blogs. However, the actual contract Vishnu imposes on these farmer–artisan rivals is worth reviewing in detail. It is that contract which I will discuss in more depth here. Vishnu starts the clip by publically declaring that the lands of Ponnivala will now be given over to the newly arrived farmers so that they can create fine, ploughed fields. He then lays out the exchange rules. These are to consist of a mix of two kinds of payments. One the one hand each farmer will pay four measures of grain to an artisan every time he accepts a new plough from that craftsman’s hands. But then there will also be a second kind of payment, 3 more measures as a yearly retainer. In return for that the artisan must keep that farmer’s existing ploughs in good repair. And finally, a farmer must supply his artisan-ally with enough dairy produce to sustain his family comfortably. The artisans show their respect to Vishnu and promise to obey his words.
In a broad economic perspective this is a “fair” arrangement between families on the two sides of this farmer-artisan divide. The craftsman gets rewarded for each specific piece of work (a new plough) that he delivers. But he also is given some security against drought, famine or an economic downturn. As in a sort of “pension” arrangement he is guaranteed three measures of grain a year, plus ample dairy produce to feed his family. This exchange plan guarantees a traditional patron – employee relationship will likely persist between two families over long periods of time. After Lord Vishnu makes his pronouncement he declares that all these exchange rules have now been properly defined and publically declared. From now on his will shall rule. Everyone then pays the great god their respects and he graciously takes his leave. A new order has just been established in the land of Ponnivala. How well will it fare? What new challenges now lie ahead for both rival groups? These questions will provide a core theme around which I hope to design many future blog posts.
Signing off for now,
“Blogger” Brenda Beck
The Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada
Have you experienced The Legend of Ponnivala on TV or in print? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
To find out more about The Legend of Ponnivala -- the legend, the series, the books, and the fascinating history behind the project, visit www.ponnivala.com.