Conference 'Economics of Non-violence...' - Report [4.03] - Samani Malli Pragya

Posted: 30.05.2006
Updated on: 15.02.2008

Fourth Plenary Session:
Indian Ancient Model of Economic System - Is it relevant today?

Samani Malli Pragya

Economics is to manage wealth and resources but its purpose should be for the fulfillment of social justice and moral values. Gandhiji said true economics never militates against the highest ethical standards just as all the true ethics to be worth its name, must at the same time be also good economics. Man is the highest consideration, nothing is more important to man than man. Gandhiji said he would welcome every invention for the benefit of mankind. To put limitations to our wants means to lead a simple and balanced life. Gandhiji himself led an exemplary life. The power of violence leads to fear, terror and unhappiness. The power of non-violence increases the consciousness of fearlessness, friendliness, spiritual togetherness and oneness. The society is oscillating between these two powers.

Acharya Mahapragya has rightly observed that only equality is not the solution to this problem. According to Anekant, the solution to social problems lies in equality and differences. Today for the sustenance of the world there is a need to create a new economics combining the economics of Marshall, Keynes, Gandhi and Schumacher. To achieve the goal of non-violence experiment with Satyagrah is essential. There should be training of scientific and practical hypothesis for the building of nonviolent personality. Violence can be seen in family life as well as social, economical and political life. We must abandon violence and usher in equality and peaceful co-existence. Here she cited an example of a Jain devotee named Jagru Sahe who called his loyal attendants and distributed his wealth when he found that people in Gujarat were suffering from drought and starving to death. Thus the wealth of Jagru Sahe alone solved the problem of the whole of Gujarat. This is the proper use of wealth.

New Parameters: For introducing the new economic system we will have to use some parameters. The new economic system should be such that it does not become a danger to world peace and brings about reduction in crime. It does not encourage violence and it promotes the feeling of non destructiveness in matter. The first essential promise is that eco system does not pose to be a danger to world peace. Anybody who wants his own development in isolation whether it be an individual, a society or a nation, will create a threat. In this context the significant principle of Mahavira is that one who rejects the people and the world, rejects his own existence and rejects the existence of the world. In the same context Erickson observed that the feeling that material is not defence should be understood in this sense only. A basic change will take place after that understanding. Our capacity to control emotions will increase with these changes and the world wide policy basedon national ego and the concept of national sovereignty would diminish and a balance will emerge thereafter. If we can develop the feeling of non-violence at an early stage in the life of students through training in non-violence, then a proper base can be provided for sustainable world peace.

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