Gandhi: An Economist’s Eye View

Questions & Answers Forum of on October 2, 2008

12 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2009 Last revised: 1 Jun 2021

Date Written: October 2, 2008


'What are the economic lessons from Mahanthma Gandhi’s independence leadership in India' was a question directed to me in the 'All Expert’s' Economic Forum. This question was unique and leads to the integration of a social achievement in the foreground, with its economic implications in the background. This question and my answer should be an eye opener to all under developed and developing nations. The foundation for the independence approach of Gandhi were more based on Social and Personal freedom than Economic independency and prosperity of the people concerned. British rulers in South Africa and India strategically used the social wedges as a tool to utilise the occupied territory and people, for the economic gains of Britain and their people. Any Psyco-social management action on the public can over power the management decision of any ruler, however powerful they may be. A social freedom movement develops attractive domestic economic concepts. But without any thought, methodology or any plan to create the resources, infrastructure and input to achieve the same. Social freedom inducts domestic orientation. Opens up the past cultural heritages. Pools the people and their thoughts towards self development. But a strategic management methodology to achieve the same are absent. Literature, the inner spirits and social freedom thoughts go together. But how to get economic prosperity, rule and manage the nation after independence were completely blank. Social freedom, not based on economic development orientation and a blind belief that people can rule themselves leads to apartheid, unsafe alliances, export of local talents to developed nations and a looping poverty. Management and Productivity (Both Government and Private) concepts and evaluation should be with reference to Socio-Economic Development units, than unilateral quantum and financial units. Intangible (Psychological, Social, Environmental, International and Universal) components should be given more importance, than physical and financial factors. Domestic investments should be from Domestic Savings. Domestic technology (Latest moderated to suit local environments) should be manned by Domestic Manpower. The economic freedom struggle of Japan, after the World War 2 (1939 to 1945) provides a contradictory scene. It was an economic struggle rather than a social struggle. It portrays a contra to the struggle framed and won by Gandhi. One could see how Japan is economically dominating the world with “leaders and people of productivity” in contrast.

Keywords: apartheid, British rule, commonwealth, democracy, domestic, economic, Gandhi, independence, investment, Japan, manpower, Panchayat Raj, poetic freedom, social, sarvodaya, Satyagraha, savings, swadeshi, Swaraj, technology, trusteeship

JEL Classification: A13, A14, B20, B31, H11, J15, J18, J71, J78, Z13

Suggested Citation

Subramaniam, Viswanatha Sankara Rama, Gandhi: An Economist’s Eye View (October 2, 2008). Questions & Answers Forum of on October 2, 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Viswanatha Sankara Rama Subramaniam (Contact Author)

Intellectual Consultants ( email )

Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu
919094321160 (Phone)

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