Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Sarvodya - The Gandhian way of Sustainability


The word sustainability has gained currency in the past few years and is as fashionable as “Paradigm Shift” was in the last decade. We certainly need to worry that the concept of Sustainability will not share the same fate of ridicule that “Paradigm shift” suffered.

But let us not fear too much. The concept of sustainability is as old as Bharata Varsh and the vedas. It is just that we Indians have forgotten it. 

The concept of “Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu” encapsulates definition and meaning of Sustainability in four concise words. Lokah – World; Samastha – Community; Sukhino – Happiness; Bhavanthu – May there be. 

The dream of Sustainability somehow got lost in the myriad of Socialism that Independent India pursued much against the wishes and dreams of Gandhiji and other Gandhians.

Sarvodya, the Gandhian concept of sustainability, literally meant “Rising of all”. To me, Sarvodya meant providing “Dignity of living to all human beings”.

In the sixty seven years of independence, India has not been able to provide even one of the fundamental needs:
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Education

No wonder Vinobha Bhave spewed scorn at the Planning Commission and their numerous five-yearplans. A dozen such plans later we are still struggling.

World across we have seen uprising against disparate growth. Sustainable growth has to be the answer. 

Independent India has followed Socialism in the beginning and Capitalism towards the end and both times with disastrous effect. Possibly it is time that we looked inwards for the solution. Can Sarvodya be the answer? Here is an article that does a deep-dive into the subject of Sarvodya.
mkgandhi.org/vinoba/anasakti/kantishah.htm

On the eve of this year's Budget presentation, it is apt to publish this article. A look at what real sustainability is and what we have been missing all these years.