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Reflections on Gandhi's Economic Ideas

By Naresh Kumar Sharma

Understanding the essence of the phrase - good life is basic to understanding the economic phenomena, economic theory and economic systems. Mahatma Gandhi's economic ideas may be better understood and appreciated in the context of a particular view of what constitutes a good life as well as a particular way of organising economic life (institutions, activities, constitutional provisions etc.,) as it pervades and dominates almost the whole of the world today.


Even though Gandhi has been discussed much more in relation to politics, philosophy, morality, culture, civilisation, etc, economic issues loom large in the totality of the work of Mahatma Gandhi. His most important work, ‘Hind Swaraj' itself is an important testimony to the same. In particular, the chapter on ‘Why was India lost?' presents, basically, an economic argument for enslavement of India and not any conventional political argument. This work also points to his vision for a good economic system.

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