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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka - October 10.docx

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New College
Henry Shiu

October 10, 2012. Lecture 4 - The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka Sarvodaya Roots in India  The word “Sarvodaya” means “awakening of all”  It had become a popular word in India in the 1950s and early 60s  Mahatma Gandhi used this term the first time in 1908 in his translation of John Ruskin’s Four Essays on the First Principles of Political Economy  Gandhi said that in the introduction of his translation that: “People in the West generally hold that the……… Again, as the object sought to be attained is the happiness of the majority, Westerners do not think there is any harm if this is secured by sacrificing a minority. The consequences of this line of thinking are writ large on the face of Europe.”  From this he established three guiding principles for his own work: o The good of the individual is contained in the good of all; o The lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s; o The life of labour is the life worth living  Gandhi realized the poverty of the Indian masses was not only degrading but also dehumanizing the people (as a result of British occupation and their position in taking over many high paying jobs and positions in high government)  He saw his goal to establish socioeconomic conditions that would encompass and contribute to the moral and mental development of each individual and each unit of society  It was not distribution of relief and charitable contributions that would solve the problems of the Indian society as a whole  His basic approach was that everyone should be employed and able to earn a “living wage”  In the political struggle for India’s independence, Gandhi was not merely concerned with winning independence….  For Gandhi, political independence from England without what he calls a “constructive program” will be “like a paralyzed hand attempting to lift a spoon”  Freedom for the individual was Gandhi’s ultimate goal, but this can only grow in an atmosphere of nonviolence  He therefore tried to develop a model of change that would not only contribute to this freedom but also guarantee a healthy development of each person in society: “you must not forget that man is essentially….”  Gandhi therefore argued that all structures of exploitation of human must be removed  He envisioned a society based on love, altruism, and spirit of service, dignity of labour, nonviolence and equality  He realized that it would not be the upper strata of society which would help him in accomplishing this, but his hope lay in the hungry and the destitute, the weak and the exploited  Gandhi was not against science and technology, but he was against “industrialism” and “machine civilization” of the West: “What I object to is the craze for machinery. Men go on ‘saving’ labour…. I want the concentration of wealth not in the hand of a few, but in the hands of all……”  Therefore Gandhi promoted the full implementation of agricultural and cottage industries operated by families (without hired labour) and cooperatives  He saw the healthy function of the village as the key solution to social conflict  For Gandhi, the homemade cotton cloth stood as a symbol of self-reliance  Indian farmers were asked to grow o
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