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Gandhi Journal Article-I: Understanding Gandhi's vision of Swadeshi

Understanding Gandhi's vision of Swadeshi

By Siby K. Joseph

Satyagraha and swadeshi are fundamental in Gandhi's philosophy of life. According to Gandhi, the whole gamut of man's activities constitutes an indivisible whole. Life cannot be segregated into watertight compartments like social, economic, political, religious and so on. So the ideas and concepts he developed in the course of his relentless experiments with truth was an attempt to integrate the various aspects of life. The concept of swadeshi was not an exception. It was not merely an economic doctrine. In fact the concept of swadeshi covered all aspects of the human life. Gandhi's vision of swadeshi is a universal concept even though he propounded it in the context of India's struggle for freedom. He used swadeshi as a means to achieve India's swaraj. India's struggle for freedom was a source of inspiration for many non-violent struggles in different parts of the globe. Swaraj through swadeshi is a principle of universal application and it can be emulated by people in their struggle for freedom. It was one of the eleven vows Gandhi prescribed for a satygraha way of life. In this paper an attempt has been made to understand Gandhi's concept of swadeshi and its manifestation in important facets of human life. Swadeshi as a generic concept covers almost every aspect of human life, all his ideas, concepts, methods and programmes. However, the scope of the present paper has been limited to areas such as economic, political, social, religious, and educational and health. Firstly, we will analyse Gandhi's vision of swadeshi.

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