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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

Chapter:
(p.123) Chapter 14 Man versus Machine
Source:
Gandhi and his Critics
Author(s):

B. R. Nanda

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.003.0014

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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