Power is a very necessary means of life. These days we cannot imagine our comfortless in life without it so it is very necessary to best use of power. Mahatma Gandhi spoke at Poona on 1 March 1946 that I regard the existence of power wheels for the grinding of corn in thousands of villages as the limit of our helplessness. I suppose India does not produce all the engines or grinding machines. I fondly hope that the number of wheels and engines does not run into thousands even for the whole of India and certainly not in the villages of India. But if true, it is indicative of the utter laziness into which our people have fallen. The planting of such machinery and engines on a larger scale in villages is also a sign of greed. Every such machinery puts thousands of hand chakkis out of work and takes away employment from thousands of housewives and artisans who make these chakkis. Moreover the process is infective and will spread to every village industry. The decay of the latter spells too the decay of art. If it meant replacement of old crafts by new ones, one might not have much to say against it. But this is not what is happening. In the thousands of villages where power machinery exists, one misses the sweet music in the early morning of the grinders at work. But to come to the main point: Whilst I hold that these power engines are at present being put to wrong use, it would be some compensation if the engines, in addition to their present use, were also used to pump water out of rivers, tanks and wells for irrigation. My correspondent suggests Government aid for this. Must this be necessary? Will not the owners of their own free will turn their engines towards this useful and necessary work? Or have we been reduced to such a paralytic state that without Government compulsion we are unprepared to do anything? Be that as it may, it is my firm opinion that all necessary measures should be taken at once to utilize existing power in order to save the people from the terrible fate confronting them.
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