Gandhian Economics

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"Gandhian economics is a school of economic thought based on the socio-economic principles expounded by Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi. It is largely characterised by its affinity to the principles and objectives of nonviolent humanistic socialism, but with a rejection of violent class war and promotion of socio-economic harmony. Gandhi's economic ideas also aim to promote spiritual development and harmony with a rejection of materialism. The term "Gandhian economics" was coined by J. C. Kumarappa, a close supporter of Gandhi." (


From an Interview with Siddharth Sthalekar, founder of Sacred Capital:

* How would you describe Gandhian economics?

"Gandhian economics might be best summarised by the works of a senior economist in India, J.C. Kumarappah. His book The Economy of Permanence outlines a broad spectrum of economies that amplify different kinds of value – material, social, intellectual, and even subtler forms like love and empathy. Some of this has been adapted into the classic by E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered.

A more recent version of this can be found in a book by one of my dear friends and mentors, Rajni Bakshi: Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom. She speaks about the 2008 crisis as the result of the separation of the market and society, and the importance of returning to the age-old paradigm of decentralised markets that were woven with our lives. Gandhian economics stresses the importance of society and markets being interwoven, like a Bazaar. Financial transactions could then be evaluated in the context of societal benefit, as opposed to being removed from it." (

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