Gandhi was not anti-business, anti-capitalist: book
New Delhi, October 2 (PTI) Mahatma Gandhi was not against business and capitalists but had a positive approach to business, says new book which also seeks to see him as an unlikely management guru and original thinker which has enriched the discourse on the capitalism market.
Retired entrepreneur Jerry Rao’s “Economist Gandhi: The Roots and the Relevance of the Political Economy of the Mahatma” provides insight into a hidden side of Gandhi’s personality – his thoughts on economics and capitalism – and also highlights some of his views on religion, ethics, human nature, education and society.
This explains Gandhi’s positive approach to business: even though he greatly reduced his individual desires, he was against poverty and wanted every Indian to enjoy a materially comfortable life.
“Gandhi’s positive approach to business, commerce and wealth may have been in part a function of his caste origins. This was also reflected in many of his actions,” the author writes.
“He traveled to South Africa as an attorney for the Gujarati muslin merchants who themselves originally belonged to the Bania caste and were relatively recent converts to Islam. In South Africa, two of his prominent associates, Polack and Kallenbach, were Jewish businessmen. Back in India, Gandhi was quite close to Ambalal Sarabhai, who funded Gandhi’s ashram in Ahmedabad, ”he says.
“Gandhi was also close to Marwari Bania’s businessman Jamnalal Bajaj, who was sometimes referred to as Gandhi’s fifth son,” he writes.
According to Rao, the evolution of the caste system, commercial and financial networks, and organized charity in Gandhi’s home state of Gujarat clearly influenced Gandhi in developing his own admittedly idiosyncratic views, but all also insightful and powerful in the field. political economy.
He says Gandhi was a personality comfortable enough to live with massive contradictions, at different times articulating widely divergent opinions.
“Therefore, it can be argued strongly that Gandhi cannot only be used to strengthen ascetic anti-consumerist movements, but also be used by those who make a living exploring the challenges of contemporary market-based systems,” writes it in the book, published by Penguin Random House.
The author is also of the opinion that all data-driven companies could help themselves by reading Gandhi and trying to see how they can position themselves away from ownership and in the guardianship paradigm.
“It can end up being both a moral imperative and a practical one. Once again, the Mahatma turns out to have contemporary relevance,” he says.
Gandhi’s success in politics, Rao writes, depended almost entirely on his ability to literally create a dedicated cadre of disciplined and trained followers.
It was with this admittedly non-violent “human capital” that he faced the economic, military and administrative power of the British Empire, he says.
Rao hopes that in the years to come, references to Gandhi will increase exponentially in the literature on economics and management and not remain confined to the cloister of “Gandhian studies”.
“When Gandhi goes beyond stakeholder analysis and studies of corporate social responsibility and begins to appear in articles on identity economics, behavioral economics and public policy, we can say that economist Gandhi has arrived, “he writes.
Rajmohan Gandhi, who wrote the preface to the book, says: “One of the most charming things about Gandhi is that he allows writers – encourages them, makes it easier for them – to write about him freely. If only other famous people had that quality! “PTI ZMN
Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI