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Gandhi Journal Article-I : Economic ideas of Mahatma Gandhi - Issues & Challenges

Economic ideas of Mahatma Gandhi - Issues & Challenges

By Dr. Suresh Maind


Mahatma Gandhi had a multifaceted personality. His aim in life was to achieve enlightenment by serving his nation and mankind.  He was born in India and so he was of the opinion that it was his first duty to serve India. He did it through his thoughts, creative activities, different movements, organisations, and his own lifestyle. His creative activities can be classified in 18 forms which cover mainly political, economic, social, educational, religious as well as medical fields. Many forms of his activities were related to economic wellbeing of society. He was clear that economic self-sufficiency for an individual and for a nation is unavoidable. This led him to think about and study various economic problems of the country and devise action plans for solving them. This was the root of his economic thinking. His work, discussions or writings therefore, were not educational fancy but were the need of the hour. He knew that the major part of human life is busy in economic activities. In that case economic activities can never be without ethics and non-violence.

Gandhi's economic ideals, much like everything else in his life, were governed by ethical and moral considerations. His stress on rural economy and emphasis on a simple life, coupled with his concern for universal well-being formed the foundation of his unique views on economics. Gandhi's economic models were based largely on his understanding of the Indian situation. However, it should be stressed that Gandhi himself believed that the model could be employed on an international scale as well. It should be remembered that Gandhi's economic modes are particularly humanitarian in nature and for him no economic model is worth implementation unless it aims towards the general well-being of mankind.


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