The gandhian approach to swadeshi or appropriate technology: A conceptualization in terms of basic needs and equity

Abstract
This is an examination of the significance of Gandhi's social philosophy for development. It is argued that, when seen in light of Gandhi's social philosophy, the concepts of appropriate technology (A.T.) and basic needs take on new meaning. The Gandhian approach can be identified with theoriginal "basic needs" strategy for international development (Emmerij, 1981). Gandhi's approach helps to provide greater equity, or "distributive justice," by promoting technology that is appropriate to "basic needs" (food, clothing, shelter, health and basic education). Gandhi's social philosophy (Erikson, 1968; Roy, 1985) has been neglected by most development specialists, with only a few exceptions (e.g., Chambers, 1983; Charles, 1983). This analysis attempts to draw out some aspects of M.K. Gandhi's background and his thinking aboutswadeshi (i.e. local self-reliance and use of local knowledge and abilities) andswaraj (i.e. independent development that leads to equity and justice). Gandhi's ideas, which emerged out of an "Indic" meta-cultural background, are based on an emphasis on equity. Gandhi's syncretic Indic background includes a belief in what Bateson (1972), writing about Bali, Indonesia, has called the "steady state." Development activities should be carried out in a phased manner that does not disturb the beneficial aspects of dynamic equilibrium, but that does promote "positive development." A.T. is particularly useful within the context of a basic needs approach to international development because use of A.T. is probably more likely to lead to equitable growth. The "economic growth" strategy, utilizing "advanced technology" (or even "high tech") exclusively, has caused unemployment and has not led to effective "trickle down," much less "high mass consumption." In many developing countries the poorest 20% of the population are worse off in 1990 than they were in 1980. By making use of the "advantage of backwardness" (Veblen, 1966) and viewing development in terms of long-term impacts, a basic needs approach using A.T. is more likely to lead to a positive impact on third world food systems than a pure "economic growth" strategy.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    24 ( #61,004 of 1,088,790 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,790 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.