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Gandhi’s Eco-Ethical Philosophy-Relevance for New Globalised Era of 21st Century

Dr. Kavita Saxena ()
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Dr. Kavita Saxena: Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, D. N. College, Meerut

Journal of Commerce and Trade, 2015, vol. 10, issue 1, pages 96-101

Abstract: Gandhi was not conventional economist like Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, and J.M. Keynes etc. In his easy hind Swaraj, Young India, Harijan and Indian opinion, he made references to the kind of economic system, which was considered as ideal for India. His ideas of economic are a part and parcel on his philosophical, political and sociological ideas. Gandhiji was essentially concerned with the free growth of human beings. Emancipation of the downtrodden and exploited masses, Mahatma Gandhi‘s economic ideas are based mainly on four principles of life - Truth, Simplicity, Non violence and Dignity of labour. Gandhi ji was intellectually influenced by the above mentioned situations prevailing at that time. He has taken economics at par ethics in his life. This paper has argued that despite profound economic and social changes that have taken place since Gandhi‘s lifetime, his economic ideas continue to be relevant today. The need for a re-orientation of economic ideology is keenly felt today. The failure of market-fundamentalism has revealed very starkly the necessity of re-establishing an ethically grounded ideology for both business and for policy. Gandhi’s economic thought was deeply rooted in ethics. Gandhi had developed an integrative ethos that helped Indians unite purposefully to dislodge colonial rule. He had also discovered a powerful method for non- violent contestation of opposing ideas. We have discussed the essential principles of his approach, which was based on a goal of freedom that transcended material gratification and individualism, and upheld the principle of collective well-being as a desirable motivation for economic activity. These principles can contribute towards mainstreaming ethical and responsible corporate behaviour, as well as that of consumers. Gandhi’s ideas and methods of non-violent persuasion can also help in transforming economic and social attitudes towards a culture that can bring about inclusive patterns of growth, and help in curbing environmental damage.

Keywords: Economic; Ethics; Philosophy; Swaraj; Harijan; Trust; Social Justice; Self Respect; Self sufficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R00 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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