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Q1. Is the Gandhian approach to development still relevant? Discuss in the context of
Indian development experience.

Ans. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more commonly known as ‘Mahatma’ (meaning ‘Great
Soul’) said specifically about India’s development. His life remained 'experiments with Truth'
and his concerns embraced the whole of the human race and not just India, South Africa, and
England. His principles, evolved during his lifespan 1869 to 1948, cover not just the last part of
the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, but rather transcend any time-
frame. Gandhi borrowed the idea of An today from John Ruskin’s unto the last which means
how the decision is going to affect the last person, helping the poorest of the poor, the initiative
in the present context can be seen in Aahara Kendra establishments. From Leo Tolstoy he got the
idea of limiting the wants i.e. limiting the human wants and Gandhi made ashrams in South
Africa named as Tolstoy ashrams, ashrams in Ahmadabad, Wardha but such ashrams that were
peaceful in their traditional timeframe but now such ashrams have become the centres for
corruption plus politicizing for example Asha ram, Radhe Maa etc.

Gandhi draws our attention to the need to protect the environment and to guard against the abuse
of natural resources. The example for this can be better cited by the initiative taken by present
Government like the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan, and National
Environment Awareness Campaign etc. For Gandhi production must be need-based and not
greed-based. In the present consumerist society, there is an artificial multiplication of' want and
production is geared to it. It has created a culture of greed and quantity. In the present system,
conspicuous consumption is promoted and non-essential consumer durables are manufactured in
plenty and through clever and brainwashing advertisements, these non-essential commodities are
made acceptable as essentials. This has tremendous negative impact on individual psychology,
social cohesion, and the ecosystem. Wasteful expenditure involved in the transportation of a raw
material like rubber produced in Kerala to Punjab and finished rubber products manufactured in
Punjab transported back to the Kerala market. Thus it can be concluded that Gandhi‘s lifetime,
his economic ideas continue to be relevant today. The need for a re-orientation of economic
ideology is keenly felt today. Gandhi‘s economic thought was deeply rooted in ethics. These
principles can contribute towards mainstreaming ethical and responsible corporate behavior, as
well as that of consumers. Gandhi‘s ideas and methods of non-violent persuasion can also help in
transforming economic and social attitudes towards a culture that can bring about inclusive
patterns of growth, and help in curbing environmental damage.