Gandhi’s ideal for self-reliance still relevant – Imsong
Kohima, Sep. 17 (EMN): In an era where the economy is affected by the social structure and compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the director of Centre for Gandhian Studies and Research Nagaland University (CGSRNU), Dr. Temjensosang Imsong, expounded that Gandhi’s ideal for self-reliant India through equitable and balanced economic development of all regions appeared relevant in the present time.
Imsong stated this while addressing a webinar on ‘Gandhi and self-reliant India (Aatma Nirbhar Bharati)- relevance now,’ organised by Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Field Outreach Bureau (FOB), Kohima, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Thursday.
He stated that India’s population with about 70% are living in rural area and mostly below poverty line (BPL), while millions are still ‘struggling poor’. He shared concern on how the pandemic –induced lockdown had affected many people and families in the entire country by adding more woes to pre-existing innumerable social and cultural issues.
Evoking Gandhi’s statement that ‘India is a land of villages,’ the speaker said India with more than seven lakh villages and few cities cannot be represented as a country. He said Gandhi believed in the idea that self-reliance is only possible through ‘village swaraj’ –freedom from social bondage, freedom from economic bondage, freedom from political bondage etc.
One of the greatest concerns of Gandhi, according to the speaker, was the fulfilment for basic requirements of life of every Indian- to have food, clothing, and shelter.
The speaker asked the participants to ponder on, “why have the question of self-reliance India arise at this time even after 73 years of its journey as an independent nation?” He then pointed out that Gandhi’s ideal of self-reliance does not go along with the concept of industrialisation and capitalism.
He said, “Gandhi did not agree with the policy of industry. Gandhi did not agree with the spirit of capitalism and mass production society.” He point out that the idea of industrialism would finish natural resources faster than it could replenish and thereby create misery and hierarchy in the society.
Imsong stressed on the idea of a mass movement, which Gandhi propounded through khadi and other small industries, that would pave the way for an equitable and balanced development.
The speaker further expounded on the need for revival of industry based on villages that would result in an overall development, which according to him, is the key to progress of the nation.
Delivering the keynote address, PIB director, Imphal, Abhishek Dayal maintained that PIB has been active during the pandemic and exalted the field-based units of PIB and outreach for disseminating the information to the people.
He pointed out that many of the recent major policy decisions, not only confined to Atmanirbhar Bharat and National Education Policy, have a deep connect with basic tenets of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings.
The director also urged the participants not to forget the central message of Gandhi- to work for the poorest person in the country and strive for a just society in the nation-building.
The moderator of the event and assistant director PIB, Kohima, K Sonikumar Singh, in his welcome address, stated that the PIB has been hosting series of webinars on key issues that are confronting the society through convergence of media persons, officials, and experts for dialogue.
The webinar was attended officials from seven states of the North East Zone, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, journalists and Gandhian experts.