That Dude , Gandhi

At the end of 1947, as India’s Congress leaders sought to put the ghosts of colonialism and the torments of Partition with Pakistan behind them, a debate rose on economic policy. The first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru ,argued for and was successful in implementing a state led economic policy which focused on industrialization.

The alternatives were Free market capitalism , which was not in favor since it was less than 15 years to the ravages of the Depression and Gandhi’s philosophy of village led growth, including small co-operatives . India officially discarded the Nehruvian philosophy of socialism in the 1990’s with a step wise approach to free market reforms. Yet in today’s suddenly environmental conscious world of high oil prices,and debris of free market capitalism , it seems Gandhi’s economic policies of environmentally sustainable de centralized growth are as relevant as his political philosophy of non violence (an eye for an eye leads to a world of the blind).

If a 100 million Indian and Chinese cars bloomed tomorrow ,as some of the world’s industrialists would want, the smoke would cover the rest of the world.

That Dude, Gandhi was right. But he always was, wasn’t he.

Author: Ajay Ohri

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