The relevance of Gandhian economics :
2.Background of the Study :
Gandhi's walks through the villages of rural India endeared him with a profound love of the land and respect for the people who toiled in it. He came to believe that it was impractical for India's cities to accommodate the burgeoning population in a dignified way. He romanticised village life as self-sufficient, simple, free, non violent, and truthful. To Gandhi, the qualities of village and rural life far surpassed that of the city, but he recognised that the playing field had to be levelled with both landscapes providing opportunities for personal growth and lifelong learning. Dhiru Thadani (2011) said that Gandhi idealised diverse self-governing communities in both the rural and urban landscapes. A robust community life is essential in the rural village as it is in any urban neighbourhood, the building block of a successful city.
From the time of his return to India in 1915, Gandhi combined political activity with social reform. When Mahatma Gandhi was not involved in his actual political campaigns, he would turn to thoughts of village reconstruction. This he did to expel the fear of unemployment and starvation in Indian villages.
The basic tenet of Gandhian economics, as it is known widely now, is regional self-sufficiency, or Gram Swaraj. He realised that to achieve this dream of self-sufficient village republics, revival of rural industries was absolutely essential. But this could not be achieved by following the western model of industrialisation based, as it was on exploitation. The technology that enabled this exploitation, therefore, needs to be eschewed. In 1934, he created All-India Village Industries Association (AIVIA) to work towards development of a model of non-exploitative rural industrialisation. It is not that he was opposed to all heavy industries. He was not against science and technology but wanted them to be used judiciously so that the inequity in the society was reduced.
The most common criticism of Gandhian model of development is that it is Utopian, infeasible, and would take the country back into medieval times. With ever increasing population, it would not be possible to meet even the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, if the heavy industries are neglected and replaced by tiny cottage and village industries. Of course, these are only apprehension and based on the fear that we may be left behind in the race of 'development' a la west. Detailed mathematical simulation studies carried out at IIT Delhi by Ajit Kumar (1991) have shown that it is possible to design village republics using the currently available decentralised rural technologies which are not only self-sufficient in so far as their basic needs are concerned, but are able to generate appreciable surplus produce for the cities.
•To analyse the current world economic scenario.
•To find an answer to the present economic problems by addressing the causes.
•To view the world through Gandhi's beliefs and writings.
•To understand Gandhi's concept of self-sufficient villages.
Research Methodology :
The present study is based on secondary data. Information has been collected from various books, journals and reports.
Next : 3. Discussion