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‘Gandhi favoured decentralization of economic and political power’

BY RAJNISH SINGH

New Delhi, Oct 2 (udaipur kiran) As the country celebrates Mahatma Gandhis 150th birth anniversary amid economic slowdown and questions over polity, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi President Ramchandra Rahi said the Father of the Nation would always pitch for “decentralization of economic and political power”.

Gandhi’s philosophy on economy and politics are free subjects, said Rahi.

To understand Gandhi’s economic and political concepts, one should read ‘India My Dreams’ he said.

‘Economy of Permanence’ is another book Rahi recommends to understand Gandhi’s economic philosophy. The book is authored by J.C. Kumarappa, who worked as a Professor of Economics at the Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad while serving as the Editor of Young India during the Salt Satyagraha between May 1930 and February 1931.

Kumarappa met Gandhi in 1929 and was imprisoned for more than a year during the Quit India movement when he wrote the book.

“Decentralization of economic and political power was Gandhi’s main philosophy,” said Rahi, who heads the trust established in 1948 by the Congress in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Mahatma Gandhi’s economic philosophy talked about the fulfillment of basic needs of people. For this, Gandhi stressed on the use of natural resources and the wisdom of people for a constructive life,” Rahi told udaipur kiran in a telephonic conversation.

Things which fulfill basic requirements of people should be created or produced, Rahi said, citing Gandhi’s philosophy on economy.

He said Gandhi had imagined for “producer’s society” and the concept was that everybody who utilizes the facilities available in the society should participate in production of such items.

For the purpose, Rahi said, Gandhi’s philosophy stressed on the need to encourage a technology that increases the ability and work of people.

Processing industries, which are currently called ‘Small Scale industries’, should develop such technology which help in increasing the “feeling of joy in work”, Rahi said, quoting Gandhi’s philosophy.

“The philosophy behind Gandhian economy is that it should not be capital-centered. It should be labour-oriented. And there should be a control of basic production through small community.. And the total economy should be decentralized,” he said.

Speaking about Gandhi’s political philosophy, Rahi said, “we established democracy after gaining freedom on the basis of adult franchise but could not firm up our mindset and values” according to that.

“Voters should be educated. They should be aware and united, because they are the base of the democracy. If votes can be purchased, grabbed and captured by instigating voters, then the base of the democracy would be weak.”

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

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