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India after the MahatmaKey note Address At National Seminar organized by Shri M.D. Shah Mahila College of Arts & Commerce, Malad, Mumbai on 27-28 April, 08By Prof. Dr. Vibhuti Patel, DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R.Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020Tel (91) (22) 22052970, Mobile-9321040048 E mail: vibhuti.np@gmail.comIntroductionMahatma Gandhi was a visionary who made an epoch making contribution for socio, political, economic and cultural transformation of not only India but also the world. His public life began with peaceful civil disobedience in the Indian community's struggle against racism and for civil rights of non-white population in South Africa. After his return from South Africa to India, he organized all sections of society, from budding industrialists, educated intelligentsia, women and children to poor farmers and labourers to protest against oppressive British regime and widespread discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress, Gandhiji led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for fight against merciless taxation of poor peasants, for the liberation of women, for communal harmony and democratic rights of ethnic groups, for an end to barbaric practice of untouchability and caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation, but above all, for Swaraj (home Rule) the independence of India from foreign domination. Gandhi famously led the civil disobedience movement against the salt tax imposed by the British Administration with the 400 kilometer (250 miles) Dandi Salt March in 1930. He masterminded the Quit India Movement in 1942.

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  • 1. India After the Mahatma Prof. Dr. Vibhuti Patel,DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R. Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics,SNDT Womens University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020 Tel 91) (22) 22052970, Mobile-9321040048E mail:[email_address]

2. Mahatma Gandhi, a visionary

  • E poch making contribution for socio, political, economic and cultural transformation
  • peacefulcivil disobedience
  • in the Indian community's struggle against racism and for civil rights of non-white population inSouth Africa .
  • After his return from South Africa to India, he organized all sections of society, from budding industrialists, educated intelligentia, women and children to poor farmers and labourers to protest against oppressive British regime and widespread discrimination.

3. Main Leader ofIndian Freedom Struggle

  • Assuming leadership of theIndian National Congress , Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for the alleviation of poverty, for fight against merciless taxation of poor peasants, for the liberation of women, for communal harmony and democratic rights of ethnic groups, for an end to barbaric practice ofuntouchabilityand caste discrimination, and for the economic self-sufficiency of the nation, but above all, forSwaraj (homeRule)the independence of India from foreign domination.
  • Gandhi famously led the civil disobedience movement against the salt tax imposed by the British Administration with the 400 kilometer (250 miles)Dandi Salt Marchin 1930. He masterminded theQuit IndiaMovementin 1942.

4. Gandhijis famous series of articles in Harijan written during 1908 compiled as Hind Swaraj(Later on translated into English by him as Indian home Rule)

  • gave his vision of future of India and
  • demanded human face for
  • economic development, growth,
  • science and technology as well as
  • nurturance of historically rich
  • cultural legacy of sharing and caring
  • based on truth, non-violence,
  • no stealing, austerity, abolition of
  • untouchability and courage of conviction,
  • communal unity, prohibition of alcohol,
  • promotion of khadi, support to basic education,
  • womens upliftment, language learning ,
  • Economic Equality, labour welfare, rights of adivasis,
  • mentoring of students, constructive programmes
  • for lepers & Civil Disobedience
  • against tyrannical rule.

5. Economic Development of India after Independence

  • Power Blocks after II World War- Marshal Plan
  • If you look at our development, like in the 50s, our rate of investment was 12 per cent. In the Eighth Plan our rate of investment was 25 per cent. We have doubled the rate of investment because we have doubled our rate of savings..
  • Gandhiji gave a slogan of Swadeshi and the Indian economic model followed the policy of import substitution and promotion of indigenous industrial development.
  • Drain of Resources during colonial rule
  • Huge population to be addressed in the development process.

6. Economic policies

  • Mixed Economic Model
  • Support to Labour Intensive Sectors
  • Green Revolution (agricultural mechanization, High Yielding Varieties, etc.) and White Revolution (Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development)
  • Hindu Rate of Growth- 3.5%
  • New Economic Policy-1991: 4 "Ds" - devaluation, deregulation, deflation and denationalisation.

7. The post reform period

  • double digit growth rate- Jobless Growth
  • But the social sector is neglected. State has absolved itself of responsibilities for public health, state supported education, food security-Starvation deaths
  • Dismantling of PDS has heaped enormous misery on the poor. The reason lies in onslaught on agriculture and food-security.
  • 84% of all economically active women are in agriculture, majority into subsistence farming. Opening up of market since 1-4-2000 for 729 new commodities that can be imported unrestrictedly has resulted in enormous tragedies resulting intofarmers suicides .
  • Starvation deaths among tribal areas have become regular feature of the pattern of economic growth.
  • Prices of rubber, cotton, coconut, coffee, cardamom, pepper, tomatoes, sugarcane and potatoes have crashed.
  • Rising inflation has reduced purchasing power of the poor.

8. Re levance of Gandhiji s philosophyof distributive justice and social justice

  • Ghandhian economics demanded that theagrarian development must be viewed as a core element of the poverty alleviation policies, since growth in this sector is likely to lead to the widest spread of benefits especially to the rural poor.
  • The first generation of economic reforms concentrated on reforms in the industrial economy and the reforms in agricultural sector were neglected. This must change now.
  • 54% of Indias population is below 25 years of age and the economic growth of India must include them then only rhetoric of Inclusive Growth and Growth with Human Face will become a reality .

9. Socio-political Development of India since Independence

  • accommodative of diversity and respectful of federalism.
  • parliamentary democracy and multiparty system,
  • Democracy versus Development, Secularism versus Monotheism and Pluralism versus Homogeneity.
  • Relevance of Mahatma

10. Security & Related Issues

  • Over the last six decades, an India that was a vocal exponent of disarmament was compelled by circumstances to emerge as a nuclear weapon state.
  • The challenge that we will now face is to fashion diplomacy more appropriate to our present strategic posture, while simultaneously pursuing disarmament goals.
  • Development economists of South Asia have unanimously demanded that in all countries defense budgets ( Rs. 5/- crores per day in India) must be diverted to education, public health, employment generation and skill development.
  • But it can be achieved only when all countries embrace Gandhijis philosophy of peaceful coexistence as a way of life.

11. Relevance of Non-alignment and Foreign Policy Issues

  • Backdrop-Partition & Colonialism, Cold War
  • India has an instinctive preference for multipolarity
  • cross-cutting issues include terrorism, drug-trafficking, international crime, energy and environment crisis, civil wars and territorial wars
  • Knowledge Economy- IT- global neighbourhood

12. Bilateral Relations with Neighbours & Beyond

  • All major indices e.g. growth of trade, investment, transport and communications, point to Indias economic resurgence becoming an integral component of the Asian growth story.
  • Global integration will come increasingly through greater connectivity and enmeshing with the dynamic economies of South East Asia and East Asia.
  • A steady evolution in Indias Look East Policy from a sectoral to a full dialogue partner with ASEAN and the imminent prospect of an India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. The East Asia Summit is an even broader canvas on which such integration could be pursued.

13. Indias Culture, Cultural Diplomacy & Globalisation

  • What kind of India the world would see in the 21st century? It would be an India largely focused in raising the quality of life of its people. This will be the basis on which our external engagements would be judged.
  • We have the cultural strengths and the self-assurance to meet the world on our terms. What augurs well is that India, as a cross-roads culture, has never seen the world in adversarial terms.
  • If the past is a guide at all, the world could learn much from South East Asias long tradition of interaction with India. That tradition has been very much one of an exchange of ideas, people and commerce.
  • Therefore, one can safely predict that interests of this region would be well served by a more prosperous, confident and active India.

14. Mahatmas Message

  • Mahatma Gandhi advocated that respect, understanding, appreciation and compassion has to be relevant at all times.
  • If we conclude that nonviolence is not relevant today we are saying in effect that the positive attitudes of respect, understanding, appreciation and compassion are not relevant.
  • If that be so then we cannot claim to be a civilised society.

15. Jingoism versusNon-violence

  • Over the years many have concluded that non-violence is a "negative" philosophy because we insert a hyphen in the word and make it the opposite of violence.
  • In reality it is the other way around. What we forget is that to practice violence we have to be arrogant, hateful, angry and capable of dehumanising people so that we can hurt and even kill them.
  • These and more are negative emotions and attitudes that dominate our psyche to such an extent that we have now become victims of a culture of violence that controls every aspect of human life.

16. Conclusion

  • Practice non-violence one has to be dominated by positive emotions