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Mahatma Gandhi's Views on Swaraj and Sarvodaya

Mahatma Gandhi social theory envisages well-being for all, well being that is oriented to self realization of one and all. In this new society economic relations are not controlled by market forces but by social affections. Political economy gives way to affective economy.

Gandhi argued that affective resources could enter into all economic equations and produce the maximum. If the spirit of the worker is brought to its greatest strength by the motivating forces of affection it can produce more. Labor with stable wages and constancy of numbers in employment, functions in terms of service not in terms of profit the wages being a necessary adjunct not the object of life. But political economy is interested in production, preservation and distribution at the proper place and time of things that are useful and pleasurable and the merchandising economy is interested in the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few with legal claims and power over the labor of others.

Mahatma Gandhi and Civil Society

Swaraj is a primordial vision of civil society. Such a social vision is realized through relentless search after truth through continuous action. Resisting untruth while holding on to truth becomes imperative in the very formation of civil society. In this engagement Gandhi's reading of Gita says that no one has attained his goal without action. If we cease working the world would perish. People need to engage in action. All actions do not lead to freedom.

Selfless and fearless action requires and results in suffering. The single mindedness of purpose in liberation and selfless action form the basis of civil society. Pain and suffering are not negative categories in the Gandhi's vision but agents in the formation of civil society.