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Conference 'Economics of Non-violence...' - Report [5.02] - Dr. M.P. Lele

Published: 04.06.2006
Updated: 15.02.2008
Fifth Plenary Session:
A Healthy and Educated Society as the key to Economic Prosperity

Dr. M.P. Lele

The title of his paper was “Convergence of Values: Spiritual, Political and Economic”

He spoke in Gandhian perspective describing Mahatma Gandhi as a unique personality combining saintliness with politics. Going through a Growth-Development Model cannot result in a sustainable society. The companies and countries are judged by their growth rates and any decline in growth rate is deemed as a decline in its performance. This kind of attitude was not supported by Gandhiji. His economics was a pragmatic economics, but deeply rooted in spiritual ideas.

In today's perspective, Gandhi appears to be highly prophetic in outrightly rejecting the growth model of economic development. He called the Western development oriented civilization as satanic, calling it a product of dark age or kalyuga, a civilization that enslaves human beings by offering temptations of money and luxury.

Alternatively, he propounded the model of Sarvodaya-the good of all. He said that economics should create social prosperity in terms of cordial relationships among different layers of society rather than sheer accumulation of material wealth. Today's economics lacks a value base and hence fails to generate happiness. Only the economic system which is regulated by ideals, rooted in permanent order of things would achieve the vision of a sustainable world.
Sources

Ashok Bapna, Director, JIILM Jaipur, Honorary Visiting Professor, CTI, CMS, HCM RIPA, Jaipur & SID Country Coordinator - India, Mobile: +91-93145-09414

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