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7) Gandhi’s idea of Sarvodaya is the prescription to tackle inequalities prevalent in society. Examine. (250 words)

Topic– lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders

7) Gandhi’s idea of Sarvodaya is the prescription to tackle inequalities prevalent in society. Examine. (250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The article discusses Gandhian concept of Sarvodaya and how it’s application could be the balming effect that society is so in need of, considering the various fault lines in society. These teachings of Gandhi etc are often asked in paper 4 of GS and the concept along with its application need to be prepared in detail for either a direct question or for writing it as a part of some answer in GS4.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain what sarvodaya is, its relevance in the current climate and an explanation of how it’s application could help deal with the various fault lines existent in society and lead to better lives for all

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that Gandhian ideal of Sarvodaya is a term meaning ‘Universal Uplift’ or ‘Progress of All’. The term was first coined by Mohandas Gandhi as the title of his 1908 translation of John Ruskin’s tract on political economy, “Unto This Last”, and Gandhi came to use the term for the ideal of his own political philosophy. Later Gandhian, like the Indian non violence activist Vinoba Bhave, embraced the term as a name for the social movement in post-independence India which strove to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all strata of India society.


  • Explain Sarvodaya in depth – highlight that the earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not for every man’s greed. In the Sarvodaya society of his dream, therefore, every member will be free from any greed for limitless acquisition of material wealth and more and more luxurious living and they will follow the motto of simple living and high thinking. Everyone will, thus, get ample opportunity to produce and earn sufficiently through honest work for decent and dignified living.
  • Discuss how the ideal of Sarvodaya is more ethical, more attuned to the climate realities of the times and can help in mitigating the social chasms prevalent in society.

Conclusion – Give your view on this prescription and underscore whether you think Sarvodaya can be a panacea to the problems faced by our society.