Gandhi's Views On Economics
Excerpts from 'The Great Sentinel'
It was our love of foreign cloth
that ousted the wheel from its position of dignity. Therefore I consider it a
sin to wear foreign cloth.
I must confess that I do not draw a
sharp or any distinction between economics and ethics. Economics that hurt the
moral well-being of an individual or a nation are immoral and therefore sinful.
Thus the economics that permit one country to prey upon another are immoral. It
is sinful to buy and use articles made by sweated labour. It is sinful to eat
American wheat and let my neighbour the grain-dealer starve for want of custom.
Similarly it is sinful for me to wear the latest finery of Regent Street, when I
know that if I had but worn the things woven by the neighbouring spinners and
weavers, that would have clothed me, and fed and clothed them. On the knowledge
of my sin bursting upon me, I must consign the foreign garments to the flames
and thus purify myself, and thenceforth rest content with the rough khadi made
by my neighbours. On knowing that my neighbours may not, having given up the
occupation, take kindly to the spinning-wheel, I must take it up myself and thus
make it popular.
- Young India, 13-10-1921