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1) Today, as the clamour for farm loan waiver amid joblessness in the farm sector puts pressure on the Centre and State governments, a relook at Gandhiji’s thoughts can provide new possibilities. Comment.(250 words)

Topic – Modern Indian history – Significant personalities

1) Today, as the clamour for farm loan waiver amid joblessness in the farm sector puts pressure on the Centre and State governments, a relook at Gandhiji’s thoughts can provide new possibilities. Comment.(250 words)

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Why this question

Mahatma Gandhi advocated for a very different model of economic development of the nation with village republics at its centre. Such ideas are discussed in the article which would enable us to take lessons from the past.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s view on rural development and his proposals for the benefit of farmers. This is to juxtaposed with the present rural crisis and see what lessons can be drawn from Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the present rural crisis and highlight that the vision of the father of our nation for India’s development was focussed around self sufficient villages.

Body

  • Highlight in brief the problems plaguing the farmers for which loan waivers has become a necessity
  • Highlight Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for India’s development and his prescriptions.
    • Gandhi envisaged villages as self-sufficient republics. He knew that India lived in its villages which is why he stressed on the growth of the rural economy such as khadi, handloom, handicraft and sericulture.
    • advocacy of the charkha was a way to promote gainful employment for an able-bodied individual. charkha symbolised this view about how each person could earn their own livelihood and become self-reliant.
    • According to him, large-scale production was meant to be profit-oriented and therefore, harmful for society as it could lead to concentration of wealth and power in a few hands. Gandhi advocated decentralisation because it could avoid violence. He suggested delocalisation of production as against concentration in particular areas. His beliefs on decentralisation were aimed at correcting all evils of a centralised economy
  • Discuss his prescriptions for the farming sector – First, prevention of fragmentation and fixing economic holdings. Second, country-wide tapping and harnessing of water resources; third, improvement of soil and its productivity through natural as well as scientific treatment of manures, seeds, crop-diseases, prevention of soil erosion etc; fourth, cooperation; fifth, State aid and protection; and sixth, reclamation of waste-lands inland and along the sea-coast and creeks.

Conclusion – In your conclusion highlight how and whether his views and suggestions are relevant for agricultural and rural areas in today’s day and age