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Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

As is being remembered by many Gandhians in Gandhi Topia, Gandhiji has indeed given us great insights into our life which were all revelations of universal truths. But the most important gifts that he gave us is our independence and a unique way to fight imperialism. Gandhiji's heart bled as he saw India was bleeding.

India continues to bleed. Gandhiji's dream of a society without exploitation was never realised. Those who have wealth accumulated do not behave like trustees, but owners, exclusive owners of that wealth. Vinobaji tried to remind India of what Gandhiji had envisaged. He successfully collected millions of acres of land. But we did not take the message of those two great men.

Based on Vinobaji's experience with the Bhoodan movement, Jawaharlal Nehru tried to give a frame work for his idea of economic equality in the form of resolution of the AICC in its Nagpur session in 1959. This resolution was never implemented. It sought to pool productive resources of India, especially agricultural resources, in 600,000 odd cooperative societies which will share the produce, in the first instance, according to individual contributions. A tall task indeed it was. But it sought to eliminate exploitation. It sought to create the kind of trusteeship that Gandhiji had advocated.

But this was not to be. The Nagpur resolution created a great upheaval in the Indian polity. A new political party was formed to fight it. The story is that the idea was buried since the Congress governments were bogged down with serious political developments. The position of the resolution is that its opposition was politically defeated in the general elections in 1962. Then followed the Chinese war, death of Nehru, war with Pakistan, death of Lalbahadur Shastri. Through all these events the Congress the only political party with a plan to address the problem of inequality in the Gandhian way, lost much of its organisational strength and numbers in legislatives.

Now it is up to Gandhians to think of inequality in India and the revival of imperialism globally which was Gandhij's main concern.

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