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Gandhi and his Critics$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195633634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.001.0001

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Man versus Machine

Man versus Machine

(p.123) Chapter 14 Man versus Machine
Gandhi and his Critics

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

Several critics who acknowledge Mahatma Gandhi as the leader of a revolutionary movement against British imperialism argue that his social outlook was reactionary. They claim that his pamphlet Hind Swaraj, written in 1909, represented his ‘back-to-nature’ philosophy in which he favoured a primitive, pre-modern economy. The Indian intelligentsia, who preferred the West’s political and economic models, were disconcerted by Gandhi’s denunciation of Western civilisation, particularly industrialism. Indeed, Gandhi took a hardline stance on the use of machinery in Hind Swaraj. Gandhi attributed poverty in India to a neglected rural economy and enforced unemployment. Although independent India under Jawaharlal Nehru did not adopt the Gandhian model of economic development, successive Five-Year Plans have included programmes for the uplift of rural India, cottage industries and village self-government based on the concept of ‘modernisation’ — large-scale industrialisation.

Keywords:   rural economy, enforced unemployment, use of machinery, industrialisation, Hind Swaraj, Gandhian model, economic development, modernisation, Five-Year Plans, Jawaharlal Nehru

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