Man versus Machine

B. R. Nanda

in Gandhi and his Critics

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780195633634
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081332 | DOI:

Series: Oxford India Paperbacks

Man versus Machine

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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

Chapter.  3037 words. 

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