Gandhian Thought On Indian Socialism
Some of Sandhog’s deepest convictions on social and economic ideas were inspired from this book, and, he translated it into Guajarati in 1908 under the title of ‘Crossroad’. Gandhi decided immediately not only to change his own life according to Russian’s teaching, but also to publish his own newspaper, ‘Indian Opinion’, from a farm where everybody would get the same salary, without distinction of function, race or nationality. Thus, Gandhi created the Phoenix Settlement, situated about 20 kilometers north of Durban, South Africa.
In his autobiography ‘My Experiments With Truth’, Gandhi states that his thoughts eight change later in life but the purpose of his story is Just to narrate his experiments with truth in life. Similarly, Sandhog’s thoughts on socialism have evolved. Gandhi was also influenced by the ideas of Henry David Thoreau. He adopted some of the ideas and recommended the study of Thoreau to his friends helping him in the cause of Indian Independence. He even took the name of his movement from Thoreau essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’, written about 80 years ago.
Some interpreters are prepared to feel that Gandhi socialism is Marxism minus violence. It nearness that Gandhi agreed with Marx so far as the ends are concerned, he offered only in the methods. But, Gandhi socialism is different in approach, philosophy and outlook, from the Marxian philosophy. E. F. Schumacher, an internationally influential economic thinker, statistician and economist in Britain, en e Goanna as ten people’s economist winos economic twinkling was compatible with spirituality as opposed to materialism. The term ‘Gandhi economics’ was coined by J. C.
Kumara, a close supporter of Gandhi. It is a school of economic thought based some of the principles expounded by Gandhi, such as non-violent humanistic socialism, and promotion of socio- economic harmony. In order to achieve this nearness he advocated trusteeship, decentralization of economic activities, labor intensive technology and priority to weaker sections. 2. WHO IS A SOCIALIST? In answering the question “Who is a socialist? ” Gandhi said, “Socialism is a beautiful word and so far as I am aware in socialism all the members of society are equal-none low, none high.
In the individual body the head is not high because it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low because they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal, so are the members of society. This is socialism. In it the prince and the peasant, the wealthy and the poor, the employer and employee are all on the same level. It is all unity. ”  Gandhi himself was born in the Banyan community and became conscious, at an early stage of his life, of the acquisitive nature of this community.
He held the Sanity community mostly responsible for the poverty of the Indian masses. He opposed capitalism in general and accepted socialism to end social and economic inequality in India. But, Gandhi molded it in the Indian context and did not accept the western socialism. Gandhi wanted to build a new social system which would be in tune with Indian’s ancient cultural traditions. So unlike Marx instead of a materialistic approach Gandhi made a spiritualistic approach to socialism. In his view spirit counts more than material forces.
This interpretation of socialism in terms of spiritual beatitude makes it non-scientific and dogmatic. There is nothing in western socialism where any trace of this Gandhi approach to life may be found. Gandhi believed that reform when imposed from outside will not bring about any fundamental change in the nature of the individual or the society. The initiative for velveteen in any aspect of an individual or a society’s reconstruction, must start with the individual himself, and without the individual’s consistent attempt at doing so nothing can bring about the intended change.
Gandhi had great faith in the essential goodness of man. He believed that the individual will realize his own responsibility and duty to society as Gandhi always emphasized on duties rather than rights. On returning from South Africa, when Gandhi received a letter asking for his participation in writing a world charter for human rights, he responded saying, “in my experience, it is far more important to eave a chanter Tort unman outlets. ” Gangplank socialism starts Trot ten Diatom Ana not from the top – from the individual who is the core of society.
He visualizes a society wherein there will be no army, no police force, where men and women enjoy the same rights, where everybody will be left to his own individual Judgment. Individualistic socialism which may appear as a contradiction in terms, was advocated by Gandhi. Socialism is often associated with industrialization and urbanism. But, Sandhog’s spiritual approach to socialism led him to oppose this. Yet, he was only against the argue scale production of things that villages can produce without difficulty.
He believed that mechanization is required only where there is shortage of labor. The spiritualistic approach to socialism led Gandhi to advocate the concept of trusteeship. Like other socialists Gandhi did not advocate abolition of private property, instead he encouraged voluntary reduction of wants by the rich. Thus, the rich helping the non-privileged ones to overcome their disadvantages. 3. THEORY OF TRUSTEESHIP Sandhog’s view is that everyone is entitled to an honorable livelihood and a certain standard of living.
Suppose an individual comes into some amount of wealth – by inheritance or by nearness of profit in business, the individual should realize that the wealth does not belong to him. He deserves the livelihood no better than the millions of others. Thus, the rest of the wealth belongs to the community and must be used for the betterment of society. Hence, Sandhog’s simplistic lifestyle and minimal dressing. Gandhi said, “l enunciated this theory when the socialist theory was placed before the country in respect to the possessions held by seminars and ruling chiefs. They would do away with these privileged classes.
I want them to outgrow their greed and sense of possession, and to come down in spite of their wealth to the level of those who earn their bread by labor. The laborer has to realize that the wealthy man is less owner of his wealth than the laborer is owner of his own, biz. , the power to work”.  Sandhog’s idea of Trusteeship arose from his faith in the law of non-possession. It was founded on his religious belief that everything belonged to God and was from God. Therefore the bounties of the world were for His people, as a whole, not for any particular individual.
Gandhi wished it to become a gift from India to the world. It is an appeal to the hearts of the people to respect their obligations towards the weaker and less fortunate, and is the most effective way of bringing about a change in society. Sandhog’s socialism does not want to destroy the institution of capitalists, only reform it. Man is an ethical entity and not a social being. Marxian socialism aims at the destruction of capitalists. Also, Gandhi socialism aims at a change of heart on the part of the rich. There is no place for violence, but only trust.
Concept of trusteeship Is to malting unman Locally Ana tons Is ten rolling Torte Tort an Uninominal to act as a custodian for others. Gandhi was against any sort of authority trying to coerce man directly or indirectly into releasing his social responsibilities. He opined that voluntary conversion of men is the only solution to transform society and he was also optimistic at times. Propounding his belief on non-violence he said, “It is my firm conviction that if the state suppressed capitalism by violence, it will be caught in the coils of violence itself, and fails to develop non-violence at any time. Most countries that tried to enforce equality by force have failed. The communist countries in their efforts to monish the class system simply ended up creating another layer of administration. Muff must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ” – M. K. Gandhi ‘Constructive action’ is the natural corollary to trusteeship. It nearness getting involved in finding constructive solutions to problems. 4. CONCEPT OF DECENTRALIZATION Gandhi insisted on decentralization of the nearness of production I. E. Economic power.
Gandhi was appalled by the living conditions of the factory workers in the city and he state of the landless farmers in the villages. Thus, urban as well as rural labor drew his attention. The colonial government had served their own purpose at the cost of the livelihood of the Indian people. Thus, Gandhi believed revivification of the villages was only possible with decentralization, development of Jihad and village industries. He advocated self-sufficient villages, which produce their own food and cloth, and are interdependent on their neighbors for other needs and cooperate with the higher authorities.
This aspect of economic decentralization was the highlight of ‘Gandhi Economics’. According to Gandhi, political decentralization should go hand in hand with economic decentralization. By political decentralization he meant, ‘prevention of massive concentrations of political power in the hands of a few, rather, to distribute it in the hands of many. The Gandhi political order takes the form of a direct, participatory democracy, operating in a tier structure from the base village level tier upward through the district and state levels to the national level’. 2] In addition to a self-sufficient village in terms of produce, Gandhi wanted education o be compulsory up-to a basic level, no caste, no intractability and non-violence to be the way to achieve this. The Penchant, comprising of five persons annually elected, possessing minimum prescribed qualifications would take all decisions and actions as required for the village. Gandhi visualized women only as a man’s companion, gifted with equal mental capacities, possessing the right to participate in the activities of men. Thus, the Penchant members could be male or female.
The self-sufficiency of villages would then lower the migration rate from villages to roan areas In search AT employment. Goanna properness Tanat ten roan Lahore should have a minimum living wage, a respectable standard of living, and every society should share the profits with the workers. On the part of the worker, he should also put in his best in whatever work he is engaged. To enhance his income, the worker may take up spinning in his spare time. Gandhi believed that the spinning wheel was the answer to many of Indian’s problems.
By the spinning wheel, he no doubt meant Jihad, but he also meant the revival of a traditional Indian industry. “If we follow the Swedish doctrine, it would be your duty and mine to find out gibbous who can supply our wants and to teach them to supply them where they do not know how to proceed, assuming that there are neighbors who are in want of healthy occupation. Then every village of India will almost be a self-supporting and self-contained unit, exchanging only such necessary commodities with other villages as are not locally producible. – M. K. Gandhi Gandhi did not advocate decentralization only because of its economic and political advantages. To Gandhi decentralization envisioned the ideal of simple living and high thinking. Real happiness and health consisted in the proper use of our hands ND feet. Gandhi, thus, regarded simplicity as a cultural and moral necessity. This way an individual becomes the architect of his own government. 5. NON-VIOLENT STATE When Gandhi was asked on his rationale behind the civil disobedience movement, he said, that he wanted to make a statement.
He wanted to say ‘l care so deeply about this matter that I’m willing to take on legal penalties, to sit in prison, to sacrifice my freedom to show you how deep my concern is’. He did not want to overwhelm the British by filling the Jails and frighten them by numbers. Gandhi also has a Stateless society as his ideal. He is opposed to the State because the State, according to him, is an instrument of violence. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine. In the ideal society, there would be no need of law made by the State, as each individual will be a law upon himself.
Sandhog’s Stateless society is different from anarchy. Instead of talking of ‘abolishing power’, one talks of abolishing coercive and remunerative power. He believed in a non-violent State, yet was aware of the problems in its existence. “It is not possible for a modern State based on force non-violently to resist forces of crosier, whether external or internal. A man cannot serve God and Mammon, nor be ‘temperate and furious’ at the same time. It is claimed that a State can be based on non-violence, I. E. , it can offer nonviolent resistance against a world combination based on armed force.
Such a State was Osaka’s. The example can be repeated. But the case does not become weak even if it be shown that Osaka’s State was not based on nonviolence”.  Goanna Dealer Tanat Calls snouts De Tort ten retort AT ten prisoners ratter than to frighten them and keep them captive. It is the crime that is heinous not the criminal. The Jail officials would be their guides and instructors. 6. CROSSROAD In certain conditions, Sandhog’s opinions may seem to be too good to be true, and in his own words, “l may be taunted with the retort that this is all Utopian and, therefore, not worth a single thought. The reason being that his understanding of the human nature and the problems of the people was mostly ethical and spiritual. For instance, Gandhi sociology is full of such saintly statements and appeals. Yet, his approach to socialism and its relevance specially to the Indian society, was unquestionable and never reached by any other. It is clear that Sandhog’s thoughts on socialism are based on his two fundamental principles, truth (stay) and non-violence (aims). Sandhog’s concept of social welfare is called ‘Crossroad’ to mean the good of Sandhog’s doctrine of Straight is Stay with aims as the nearness.
His concept of aims with Stay as the common goal enabled him to develop the doctrine of Crossroad or non-violent socialism. Self-dependence is essential as long as it aids to self-respect and discipline, but it is not an end. Those who had become responsible should then act as catalysts to explore new depths of social change. Gandhi used Crossroad to express the ideas that he found in Russian’s book. Though the thought of Welfare for all’ had already taken shape in his mind before he read the book, Gandhi has stated that there were three learning for him in the book.
Firstly, the good of an individual is contained in the good of all. Secondly, there is no work that is low in stature, both a lawyer and a barber have a right to earn a livelihood from their work. Thirdly, the life of a laborer, a tiller and a handicraftsmen are worth living. Gandhi seems to have borrowed the concept of Crossroad from a Gain scripture Ritter by Chary Samaritan Buddha who lived about 2000 years ago. His other inspirations were, gospels by Leo Tolstoy and Thoreau.
In addition to Jansenism, Sandhog’s thought owes much to the scriptures of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. Crossroad is like a give and take relationship between the society and an individual, morally, spiritually and economically. Gandhi devoted his entire life for the achievement of this goal. Commitment to all kinds of sacrifices, even unto death, for the welfare of others was at the core of Crossroad. Yet, he did not claim to be a helicopter. He said there is no such thing as Gandhi and did not want to leave any sect after himself.
There was only one Gandhi, he said, an imperfect one at t muse T. On salary lines formally instituted. N ml never allowed ay organizations to De Crossroad as an ideal, a vision and a movement in Gandhi philosophy in its origin, dynamic in outlook, demands the commitment of its follower to the care and the uplift of humanity, especially of the last and the least in any society. Sandhog’s dream of Crossroad society is an ideal towards which he worked and for which he expected continuity of commitment till it is realized.
The dynamics of Crossroad are deeply rooted in the world view of Gandhi, within which he thought and acted and from the perspective of which he viewed other realities and which gave him the inner direction for his search for and experiments with truth. This Gandhi concept is not foreign to Indians. It has been a part of the society since time immemorial. Helping the needy was a dharma within the Joint families, communities and kingdoms. Both sides had to co-relate and co-operate to improve the conditions; not Just wait for someone to come and help them.
In the modern incept, help usually implies monetary help or provision of material supplies obtained through money. In Sandhog’s opinion, the emphasis was on the human aspect, not on money or materials alone. Gandhi was not a traditionalist or revivalist. He was clear on the notion of an imperfect society, whether Eastern or Western. He never said that traditions should be followed if they become a constraint on the development. On the other hand, he did not favor blind industrialization, that undermined Indian’s social foundation.