Focus

  • A Life of Dedication Rameshwari Nehru

    Kumarappa has an inspiring personality and his life, dedicated as it is, to the service of humanity, bears the impress of his nobility. Born in a well-to-do family he received the highest education in certain subjects in England and in America. He made a deep study of economics and sociology and he developed an amazing insight into the problems of the villagers and their environment. He has used his knowledge and training in the West to great advantage in finding solutions to the difficult questions concerning Indian economics. 

  • Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi

    Samaldas College, he leapt at the opportunity to study in

     

    England, which he viewed as "a land of philosophers and poets, the very centre of civilization."

    At the age of 19, Gandhi went to University College, of the University of London, to train as a barrister. His time in London, the Imperial capital, was influenced by a vow he had made to his mother on leaving India to observe the Hindu precepts of abstinence from meat and alcohol. Although Gandhi experimented with becoming "English", taking dancing lessons for example, he couldn't stomach his landlady's mutton and cabbage. She pointed him towards one of London's vegetarian restaurants. Rather than simply going along with his mother's wishes, he read about, and became intellectually converted to, vegetarianism. He joined the Vegetarian Society, was elected to its Executive Committee, and founded a local chapter. He later credited this with giving him valuable experience in organising and running institutions. Some of the vegetarians he met were members of the Theosophical Society, which had been founded in 1875 by H.P. Blavatsky to further universal brotherhood. The Theosophists were devoted to the study of Buddhist and Hindu Brahmanistic literature. They encouraged Gandhi to read the Bhagavad Gita. Although he hadn't shown a particular interest in religion before then, he began to read works of, and about, Hinduism, Christianity, and other religions. 

    He returned to India after being admitted to the British bar. He tried to establish a law practice in Bombay, but had limited success. By this time, the legal profession was overcrowded in India, and Gandhi was not a dynamic figure in a courtroom. He applied for a part-time job as a teacher at a Bombay high school, but was turned down. He ended up returning to Rajkot to make a modest living drafting petitions for litigants, but was forced to close down that business as well when he ran afoul of a British officer. In his autobiography, he describes this incident as a kind of unsuccessful   lobbying attempt on behalf of his older brother. It was in this climate that he accepted a year-long contract from an Indian firm to a post in Natal, South Africa. 

    Civil rights movement in South Africa At this point in his life, Gandhi was a mild-mannered, diffident, politically indifferent individual. He had read his first newspaper at age 18 and was prone to horrible stage fright when speaking in court. South Africa changed him dramatically as he faced the humiliation and oppression that was commonly directed at Indians in that country. One day in court in the city of Durban, the magistrate asked him to remove his turban, which he refused to do and then stormed out of the courtroom. Several days later, he began a journey to Pretoria that would serve as the catalyst for his activism. First, he was thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg because he had refused to move from first class to third class when asked in spite of the fact that he was travelling on a first class ticket. Later, now travelling by stagecoach, he was beaten by a driver for refusing to travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger. In addition to these specific incidents, he suffered other hardships on the journey as well, including being barred from many hotels on account of his race. This experience led him to more closely examine the hardships his people suffered in South Africa during his time in Pretoria.

  • Decentralised Planning

    One contributing cause to the sharp rise in the price of vegetables, rice, tea, cotton yarn etc is the fall out of the balance of payment problems and the trade deficit that we face. And so we are being forced to export all that we can, including the necessities that are in short supply, and are needed by our poor consumers. This export drive is one cause for the price rise: States like Tamil Nadu have appealed at the December 1991 National Development Council meeting in Delhi to stop the export of rice to the gulf countries and those of vegetables and cotton yarn as its immediate effect is to raise their prices. Here we should recall Kumarappa's clear directive that only what is surplus, which he called "the natural surplus", only the residue after what is consumed by the people, should be exported'''. We are today flying in the face of clear advise and so are playing the price in inflation.

  • Decentralised Planning

    One contributing cause to the sharp rise in the price of vegetables, rice, tea, cotton yarn etc is the fall out of the balance of payment problems and the trade deficit that we face. And so we are being forced to export all that we can, including the necessities that are in short supply, and are needed by our poor consumers. This export drive is one cause for the price rise: States like Tamil Nadu have appealed at the December 1991 National Development Council meeting in Delhi to stop the export of rice to the gulf countries and those of vegetables and cotton yarn as its immediate effect is to raise their prices. Here we should recall Kumarappa's clear directive that only what is surplus, which he called "the natural surplus", only the residue after what is consumed by the people, should be exported'''. We are today flying in the face of clear advise and so are playing the price in inflation.

  • Economic Progress and Real Progress M. K. Gandhi

    It may be satisfactory enough for me, but it can in no way answer the requirements of a society such as yours. Still it was no use my struggling against Mr. Kapildeva Malaviya. I knew that he was intent upon having me to engage your attention for one of your evenings. Perhaps you will treat my intrusion as a welcome diversion from the trodden path. An occasional fast after a series of sumptuous feasts is often a necessity. And as with the body, so, I imagine, is the case with the reason. And if your reason this evening is found fasting instead of feasting, I am sure it will enjoy with the greater avidity the feast that Rao Bahadur Pandit Chandrika Prasad has in store for you for the 12th of January.

  • Gandhi's Economical and Political Significance in Africa

    A most singular resort to the strategy indicated in Gandhi’s 1926 article was soon to present itself. In West Africa Gandhi’s influence had spread substantively. In 1935, four years after Gandhi had declared his support for a free Gold Coast, Gandhi’s friend and biographer C.F. Andrews had spent time in Achimota College. Andrews’ presence there had attracted significant attention. Meanwhile, a crisis was brewing in the then Gold Coast related particularly to the cultivation and marketing of cocoa, a matter which directly affected the African farmer. It presently came to a head.

  • Gandhian Economics for Peace Robert Ellsberg

    It would be untrue to maintain that nonviolence adopted as a tactic or policy could not achieve results. In that sense the Congress Party of India adopted nonviolence, and in that sense it achieved its objective, viz. independence from England. But Gandhi’s swaraj (self-rule) was not merely a political objective, but a moral calling; not freedom from English rule but freedom from ignorance, exploitation, and violence—the replacement of the rule of force with the rule of love. It was the enemy within— hatred, greed, and fear—that had to be overcome. The withdrawal of Britain would be among only the outward expressions of that achievement.

  • Historical context of new economics Rajni Bakshi

    Gandhi’s legacy was carried forward by his disciple Joseph Chelladurai Corneilus Kumarappa, who was both a chartered accountant and an economist trained at Columbia University. Kumarappa devoted himself to finding both a practical and theoretical basis for a different kind of economics. Every being, Kumarappa found, fulfills its necessary role in the cycle of life by performing its own primary function. He articulated these ideas in a book he titled The Economy of Permanence: A quest for a social order based on non-violence.

  • Interview with Mahatma

  • J.C.Kumarappa’s Contribution to Creative Inter- faith Relationship - Solomon Victus

    J.C.Kumarappa’s theological search and religious journey was considered a highly polemic from the traditional Christian perspective but today in a secular and pluralistic context it gains more sense over his radical interfaith position. Although he hails from the context of high Anglican tradition practicing Christianity, he gradually developed a broader view of accepting religious pluralism and affirming secularism. Although secular views of religions were one of the fundamental concerns of the Indian National Congress, Kumarappa’s ideas of Inter-faith relations were considered to be significant from both Christian and secular point of view. It is also a unique model for secular Christians to understand how is it possible to have profound faith in Jesus, simultaneously accepting Inter-faith relationships in a very rational way. This position, although, is not completely been accepted amongst all the churches as well as a few other major religious traditions till today, his effort was highly noteworthy in the climate of the fervent Christian mission transmitters.

  • Kumarappa

  • Kumarappa Life and Works

    Ever since his work on the Agrarian Reforms Committee Kumarappa had begun to focus more on agrarian issues and in his village visits paid special attention to the needs of landless agricultural labour. For the preparation of this report he had travelled all over India, including to his home State of Tamil Nadu. The struggles between landowners and landless workers was acute here as in many other parts of India. He worked closely with the Tamil Nadu Constructive Workers’ Sangham, who called him to their camps to train village youth for constructive village work. His message to them that land, like air and water, should be common property of the people and that only those who work on the land should own it was considered to be communistic propaganda by the landowners and they complained to the government about this. The hostility towards him from these sections was very strong and there was a rumour that the government was thinking of putting a ban on his activities.

  • Kumarappa an Evaluation R Keithahn

    I was growingly drawn to Kumarappa and his Village Industries programme. I  became a regular Khadi wearer as soon as I understood Gandhiji's unique programme and the important place of homespun therein. Very early I grew very fond of this product of the unemployed or under-employed. It fitted in with my already accepted economic programme of using the product of a just and honest economic effort. The pure white of Khadi was always attractive to me. It is the symbol of the purity of life in all its aspects. There was no question of the importance of Khadi. But 1 felt, all genuine village industries, especially those of food processing, were equally important. In fact, as I have always said, one could go naked in such a tropical climate as that of India and millions practically do so. But one could not live on an empty stomach. In fact, it was my wife who joined me and came to India in 1935, who helped to see things more clearly. After two years of medical practice at  Devakottai she said, "India does not need pills or injections; India needs food", or "How can you expect the hungry villager to live a good life on an empty stomach ?"

  • Kumarappa and His Economy of Permanence - Utham Kumar Sinha

    Kumarappa supported Gandhi’s percept that each village in India ought to be self-sufficient economically as far as possible. He also warned, as an economist, against ignoring the ‘useful functions’ performed by certain traditional Indian institutions, and against assuming that people in India must behave economically in the same way as Westerners do. Kumarappa’s appeal to strengthen local rural economy by empowering rural masses and respecting the logic of nature makes more practical sense than any other developmental theories today. His concerns are not primitive just because of endorsement of traditional living; they rather promote prosperity and justice with an affirmation of human dignity. Current developmental researchers have valued such traditional social living for being more environments friendly and sustainable as compared to the urban industrial societies.

  • LOCATION, COMPETITION, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: LOCAL CLUSTERS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

  • LOCATION, COMPETITION, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: LOCAL CLUSTERS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

  • Life and Mission of Mahatma Gandhi

    Reflecting on Life and Mission of Mahatma Gandhi ..

  • MY REMINISCENCES OF KUMARAPPA - KAKA KALELKAR

    I soon discovered that Kumarappa was full of fun and frolic. His conversation was replete with tit-bits and humour anecdotes. He would crack jokes often at my expense. I  knew I could give it back to him but I let the one way traffic of his jokes go on for sometime. We became good friends and had many talks on the situation in India and Gandhiji's new programmes. Kumarappa had joined the Vidyapith as a Professor. He would accept no salary saying that he had put by some  money and as long as that lasted he would take no salary for  his work. I told him it was not necessary for him to wait till his money ran out and that he could take his pay from the very first day. After all, what did we give to our professors in the Vidyapith, hardly Ks. 100/- per month, if I remember right.  But Kumarappa kept his resolve.

  • Mahatma Quotes

  • Mastery of English

  • Non Violence and Socio Economic Revolution Thakurdas Bang

  • Nonviolence Versus Capitalism Brian Martin

    If nonviolent action is to be used to tackle capitalist oppression, then it needs to be built on an informed strategy, including a careful analysis of the foundations of capitalist power, a vision of an alternative and a plan for moving from the present situation towards the alternative. It also needs to include challenges to other systems of domination, especially those in symbiosis with capitalism, including the state, the military, bureaucracy and patriarchy.

  • Nurturing Enterprise

    A child never pay any return in cash or kind for the service of the mother that was performed during the entire period of the parental care. It will tie up a social and humanitarian bond through which the grown up child may become careful for the mother. The kind of effort thus indicate the vibrant nature of the society. These and some other human activities are perfectly regulated by the Free Will of an individual.

    There exists several regulating factors leading toward the confinement of the Human Free Will toward selected economic efforts….

    1.     Access to basic amenities of life; such as food, shelter, thirst, clothing etc.

    2.     Secondary needs of life such as imagination, pleasure, aesthetics, creativity etc.

    3.     Selecting or opting the role in nature as per the knowledge base and the mindset of the individual.

     

    4.     Wish factor in turn limits the Free Will in certain instances.

  • Our Current Problems Devendra Kumar

    India's Independence came in 1947 at a time when the second world war had ended and the world was in chaos. Gandhiji had hardly any respite from the freedom— fight for which he had relentlessly worked for three decades when the nation had responded to his call of non-violent resistance, leading to participation of masses in the struggle and their ultimate victory. Gandhiji, therefore, could only symbolically manifest his constructive programmes or his picture of a non-violent India — where class, caste or any other exploitative systems world have no place. These ideals which he adumbrated for a new society were based on non-exploitative systems of economic production, which he felt could be best applied in a rural economy. This model was however not very acceptable to the people who were at the helm of the affairs as they, were enamored of the western model and wanted to make India a replica of the dazzling material development they saw in Europe and America. The affluence of the west was unfortunately brought about only through the exploitation of other countries and world's limited renewable natural resources which these countries exploited mercilessly.

  • Spinning for Freedom Dr. Susan S. Bean

  • The Spiritual Legacy of J. C. Kumarappa - Rev. Dr. Bruce Miller

    His work on Jesus focuses primarily on the teachings of Jesus in contrast to the Judaism that preceded Jesus and the Christian Church that emerged after Jesus.  Kumarappa expresses alarm at the contrast between the teachings of Jesus on love and the practices of the churches that throughout history too often legitimated violence and war.  He chose to focus on the historical Jesus as reflected in the four Gospels rather than the Letters of Paul or the Book of Acts arguing that most of the New Testament was written decades after the events and interpolations “often repugnant to the spirit of Jesus” crept into the texts.  More recent scholarship would go further and distinguish the authentic words of Jesus from the attempts by the Gospel writers themselves to soften and domesticate the radical words of Jesus.  In his prison document Kumarappa takes us through the Sermon on the Mount,

  • Voice of Mahatma

    Village economy cannot be complete without the essential village industries such as hand-grinding, hand-pounding, soap-making, paper-making, match-making, tanning, oil-pressing, etc. Congressmen can interest themselves in these and, if they are villagers or will settle down in villages, they will give these industries a new life and a new dress. All should make it a point of honour to use only village articles whenever and wherever available. 

  •  BALANCED CULTIVATION

    The basic cause of food shortage is the departure from the village economy of self-sufficiency. Our custom has been to grow in every village enough material to meet all its needs and to afford a reserve for a year or two in cereals. The advent of money economy broke down this rampart of safety. Even the growing of cereals became a money crop. Farmers sold their food material and hoarded their notes which could not command the foreign market in grains, with the result that now we face famine every year. The only remedy is to resort to balanced cultivation of land. 

  • On Education