Assignment – II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

1. Discuss Gandhi critique of development.

  1. Materialism and Consumerism: Gandhi believed that the modern conception of development was driven by materialism and consumerism, which he saw as dehumanizing and spiritually impoverishing. He argued that the relentless pursuit of material wealth and possessions led to a hollow existence, where individuals valued material comfort over ethical and spiritual growth. Gandhi emphasized the need to strike a balance between material progress and the pursuit of higher values.
  2. Exploitation and Inequality: Gandhi was critical of development models that perpetuated exploitation and inequality. He saw colonialism and industrialization as mechanisms through which a few benefited at the expense of the masses. Gandhi believed that genuine development should uplift the marginalized and ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.
  3. Impact on Local Economies: Gandhi’s advocacy for local self-sufficiency was a response to the negative impact of global economic systems on local economies. He critiqued the dependency on imported goods and technologies, which he saw as detrimental to the growth of indigenous industries and craftsmanship. Gandhi promoted village-centered economies and the revival of cottage industries to ensure the economic autonomy of communities.
  4. Environmental Sustainability: Gandhi’s critique of development extended to its disregard for the environment. He foresaw that unchecked industrialization and resource extraction would lead to environmental degradation and disrupt the delicate balance of nature. He advocated for a harmonious relationship with the environment, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices and responsible resource management.
  5. Spiritual and Moral Degradation: Gandhi argued that the Western model of development had led to the erosion of ethical and spiritual values. He believed that the pursuit of material progress had led to a loss of compassion, empathy, and a sense of interconnectedness among individuals. Gandhi’s alternative vision of development prioritized the cultivation of moral and spiritual qualities.

In essence, Gandhi’s critique of development was a call for a more holistic and human-centered approach. He proposed an alternative model that valued simplicity, self-sufficiency, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Gandhi’s ideas remain relevant today, as the world grapples with issues such as climate change, inequality, and the ethical implications of technological advancement. His critique challenges us to reconsider the definition of progress and development and to prioritize the well-being of all individuals and the planet over narrow economic gains.

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