The beliefs and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian nationalist leader and social reformer, serve as the foundation for the Gandhian perspective on development.
Gandhi’s ideas on development are focused on social fairness, simplicity, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance.
His strategy places a strong emphasis on the worth of human values and spirituality and aims to provide people and communities the tools they need to take charge of their own development.
The idea of swadeshi, or self-reliance, is one of the cornerstones of the Gandhian approach on development. Gandhi had the view that local communities should be self-sufficient in terms of their economic and material requirements and not rely on outside sources.
He promoted the growth of small businesses that were based in local neighbourhoods and made use of regional supplies.
The Gandhian philosophy of development places a strong emphasis on the ahimsa, or non-violence, concept. Gandhi was of the opinion that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, and that progress should be pursued in a way that protects the environment and other living things.
He emphasised the value of using nonviolent resistance to confront injustice and advance social change.
Gandhi’s philosophy on development also emphasises the value of sustainability and simplicity. He held that communities should seek to meet their needs in a way that is environmentally sustainable and socially ethical, and that progress should not be pursued at the expense of the environment or future generations.
Gandhi also advocated for living simply and cheaply in order to reduce material consumption and advance spiritual principles.
The Gandhian approach to development also places a strong emphasis on the value of social justice and equality. Gandhi held the view that all people should benefit from growth, regardless of their social rank or origin.
He emphasised the significance of combating poverty and social inequality and spoke in favour of the political, economic, and educational empowerment of marginalised communities.
In summary, the Gandhian perspective on development offers a distinctive and different method of development that places an emphasis on independence, simplicity, sustainability, and social justice.
Gandhi’s philosophy offers a critical critique of the prevailing development paradigm and a framework for seeking more equitable and sustainable forms of development, even though some of his concepts may be difficult to put into practise in the context of contemporary development.