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Relevance of Gandhi’s economic policies in modern time

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  • Published
    28th Dec, 2019
  • In recent year’s concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM), Customer Relations Management (CRM), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Safeguarding the Interests of All Stake Holders (SIASH), Frugal Engineering (FG), Lean Management (LM) has come to be embodied in management theory and good corporate governance practices.
  • Gandhi has urged practice of these by the 1920 and 30s.
  • On CRM, he had stated. "A customer is the most important visitor on our premises”.  
  • His CSR is seen in his educational health and sanitation efforts for the Champaran Indigo peasants.
  • His FE and LM are seen is his choice of the charka for India's emancipation from colonialism and abysmal poverty, and his insistence on stringency in all expenditure and strict accounting of every rupee spent.
  • The Secretary of State for India revealed in the House of Commons that whereas the Great Depression caused a 25% drop in Britain's textile exports to India, the additional 18% fall was due "directly to the boycott program carried on by the Indian National Congress."
  • The German economist Ernst Schumacher, in his book 'Small is Beautiful' lauded Gandhi as a people's Economist.
  • He argued "The technology of mass production is inherently violent, ecologically damaging, self-defeating in terms of nonrenewable resources.
  • The technology of production by the masses, making use of the best of modern knowledge and experience is conducive to decentralization, compatible with the laws of ecology, gentle in its use of scarce resources and designed to serve the human person instead of making him the servant of machines.
  • One of the Management concepts now in vogue is "Core Competence". Over a century ago Gandhi identified textiles as the Indian people's core competence.
  • He urged that humans should be industrious, "not like a machine, but like the busy bee.”
  • The Charka was his mascot for employment generation. Ridiculed by many as "antediluvian ", it revived India's moribund cottage and village industries which today employ over 30 million artisans their families.
  • Gandhi's continuing pertinence in the management field in the 21st century is clearly visible in the present Global Warming. Gandhi had written: "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need but not for every man's greed…..The wars of our times spring from greed."
  • It is notable that this assertion of Gandhi is being used as one of the prime slogan of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
  • World Economic Forum has estimated that due to automation there will be net loss of over 5 million jobs by 2020 across 15 major developed and estimated economies. Over a century age, Gandhi had foreseen that "labour saving" machines "save labour" by making laboures redundant. He had urged "production by the masses" instead of "mass production".  

The Path Towards National Regenartion  

  • Gandhiji penned a small booklet during a train ride from Sevagram to Bardoli, in which he appealed to all engaged in the freedom struggle to address some basic issues.
  • There were thirteen items in the original and later he added five more which became  18-point constructive programme which  was developed, which became his framework for socio-economic reconstruction of indian society.
  • In 1942 he wrote," if we wish to achieve swaraj through truth and non-violence, a gradual but steady building up from the bottom upwards by constructive effort is the only way."
  • He designed the constructive programme to generate inner strength, to elevate internal growth in the masses and to make them aware of their rights as well as duties.

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