He was a renowned freedom activist and an authoritative political leader who played an important role in India’s struggle for independence against British rule in India.
His birthday is celebrated every year as Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday in India. His ideology of truth and non-violence influenced many and was adopted by Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela for their struggles.
Gandhi’s birth was a watershed moment in the history of Indian nationalism. Mahatma Gandhi returned to India in the year 1915. He spent his early days in the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmadabad, where he sought advice from Gopal Krishna Gokhle on how to take his political stance. Gokhle advised Gandhi to first examine the socio-political situation in the country and then act accordingly, according to Gokhle. Gandhi, on the other hand, quickly rose to prominence in the political scene as a result of his competent leadership in specific local battles.
Mahatma Gandhi Economic
Mahatma Gandhi economic ideas were humanistic in nature, with his top goal being the social and economic well-being of citizens suffering from unemployment, brutal working conditions, and stagnating agricultural growth. Along with societal well-being, he also concentrated on environmental welfare, providing the groundwork for the concept of sustainable development. These concepts have acquired substance in the form of State Policy Directive Principles and Fundamental Rights.
Top Ten Economic Ideas of Mahatma Gandhi
- Economic Laws: He wanted sustainable development as the basis of growth.
- Non-Violent Economy: According to him, trade violence meant individual exploitation, capitalism, in which a large portion of profit is concentrated in the hands of a few people, leaving the rest of the population in dire straits.) The term “Labor Welfare” was coined as a result of this. He was an outspoken opponent of child labour and a proponent of factory safety standards.
- Decentralisation: He was adamantly opposed to the use of machines. He favoured labor-intensive technologies since the Indian population was so large that using robots would result in people losing their jobs. He hoped that by combining cottage industries with agriculture, farmers would be able to work in their spare time and earn more money.
- Khadi Industry: For Gandhiji, production of Khadi meant that for the common man, it was a source of steady income, it did not require capital investment, it did not depend upon monsoon, and helped in solving the problem of unemployment.
- Regeneration of Villages or Village Sarvodaya: Gandhiji developed the concept of Rural Sarvodaya, or a village economy that is self-sufficient. He envisioned the rebirth of historic village communities with thriving agriculture, decentralised industry, and small-scale cooperatives. He also desired people’s participation at all levels of the economy in order to achieve inclusive development.
- The Trusteeship Doctrine: Trusteeship provides a mechanism of converting society’s current capitalist order into an egalitarian one in which wealth is distributed equally and all elements of society are uplifted. He felt that capitalists may act as trustees, caring for not only themselves but also others. Mutual trust and confidence would be built in this way, allowing the wonderful ideal of economic equality to be realised.
- Food Problem & Law of Bread Labour: He thought that everyone should decrease their food requirements to the bare minimum, and that, to the extent possible, the consumption of food grains and pulses should be lowered to the bare minimum by substituting vegetables, milk, fruits, and other healthy alternatives. The law of Bread-Labour, on the other hand, emphasised that man must earn his bread via his labour. This would lower the dependency ratio, improve revenue and production, and eliminate the poverty and hunger that existed at the period.
- Population: Gandhiji opposed the use of contraceptives; he was in favor of birth control through self-control and not through the use of artificial methods. He considered self-control as the “infallible sovereign remedy”.
- Prohibition: According to Gandhiji, the use of coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol was detrimental to the mental, physical, and moral development of an individual. He firmly believed that Western materialism and industrialization had increased human wants.
- Exchange Economy: Gandhian idea on the exchange economy was based on the swadeshi spirit.
Relevance of Gandhian Theories
The following fundamental rights are recognized by the Indian constitution and are also encompassed by the Gandhian Economic Theories:
- Right to equality
- Right to freedom
- Right against exploitation
- Cultural and Educational Right
The Gandhian ideals are also included in India’s Directive Principles of State Policy. These concepts are based on Gandhi’s reconstruction agenda, which he outlined during the national struggle. Some of Gandhi’s ideas were included in the DPSP in order to accomplish his dreams, and they direct the state through Article 40, Article 43, Article 43 B, Article 46, Article 47, and Article 48. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added new directive principles to the original list.
They also encompassed Gandhian principles:
- Added clause in Article 39: To secure opportunities for the healthy development of children
- Added clause in Article 39 as Article 39A: To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor
- Added clause in Article 43 as Article 43 A: To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries.
Importance of Gandhian Concepts in Today’s Economy
The Trusteeship Doctrine: Due to today’s expanding economic disparities, this idea will result in a lessening of India’s wealth disparity. After Russia, India is the world’s second most unequal country. According to an Oxfam analysis, the wealthiest 10% of Indians hold 73 percent of the country’s wealth. Every year, this tendency is increasing, implying that the wealthy are becoming wealthier at a much faster rate than the poor.
Regeneration of Villages or Village Sarvodaya: Panchayats and local self-government entities have recently received a lot of attention. Since financial allocations to them have been raised, this will integrate as well as offer a boost to the village economy.
Non-Violent Economy: His concept can be used to fight all the ills that are rampant in our country now, such as black marketing, nepotism, corruption, and red-tapism.
4 जून 1944 को सुभाष चन्द्र बोस ने सिंगापुर रेडियो से एक संदेश प्रसारित करते हुए महात्मा गांधी को ‘देश का पिता’ कहकर संबोधित किया था इसके बाद 6 जुलाई 1944 को सुभाष चन्द्र बोस ने एक बार फिर रेडियो सिंगापुर से एक संदेश प्रसारित कर गांधी जी को राष्ट्रपिता कहकर संबोधित किया। बाद में भारत सरकार ने भी इस नाम को मान्यता दे दी।
राजचंद्र जी महात्मा गांधी के आध्यात्मिक गुरु थे। गांधीजी इनसे खासे प्रभावित रहते थे। श्रीमद् राजचंद्र जी की राष्ट्रपिता महात्मा गांधी से पहली मुलाकात 1891 में मुंबई में हुई थी। मुलाकात के बाद गांधीजी बहुत प्रभावित हुए।
1893 से लेकर 1914 तक महात्मा गांधी दक्षिण अफ्रीका में रहे और नागरिक अधिकारों के लिए सत्याग्रह करते रहे। 1915 में वह भारत लौटे।
‘सत्य के प्रयोग’ महात्मा गांधी द्वारा लिखी वह पुस्तक है, जिसे उनकी आत्मकथा का दर्जा हासिल है. बापू ने यह पुस्तक मूल रूप से गुजराती में लिखी थी. हिंदी में इसके अनुवाद कई लोगों ने किए.
चंपारण का किसान आंदोलन अप्रैल 1917 में हुआ था. गांधी ने दक्षिण अफ्रीका में सत्याग्रह और अहिंसा के अपने आजमाए हुए अस्र का भारत में पहला प्रयोग चंपारण की धरती पर ही किया.