Revival and Reform

 A Scientific , timely viable and relevant approach

Chandan Sukumar Sengupta

Abstract

Civilised society works for referring collective progress and the kind of progress duly attained refers to address individual need as per the scope of the progressive trend of activities. Some dominating group takes the advantage and some other disadvantaged group remain outnumbered in a society. The kind of disparity often leads to the formation of various class in a community. That is the reason why all individuals are not maintaining their access to resources and technologies. Because of this reason and some other sustainable development remained in the paper. People centered planning also received mixed impression. Dr. J. C. Kumarappa, a well-known Gandhian Economist designed a comprehensive plan of the revival of rural industries in India. That plan gained the confidence of Mahatma Gandhi and kept aside after the attainment of independence. Relevance of that plan in which Kumarappa proposed the proper linkages of ecology and economy made the proposed economic practices a scientifically viable one having adequate safeguard for the fundamental human values.

The Initiative

Attaining freedom from the British Rule was a challenging effort in which several leaders made themselves involved directly or indirectly through promoting or propagating various activities. Mahatma Gandhi considered Freedom Struggle and Rural Constructive Programme to be taken up simultaneously to make the Nation fit for the Implementation of a Federal Democratic Home Rule. It will be a type of Nation in which all people willingly entitled to enjoy freedom at their utmost aspiration. People should feel free in adopting and practicing their social as well as economic activities.

Mahatma Gandhi considered Constructive Works as of Prime Importance because of the necessity of that time. Integrated efforts duly planned for raising the confidence of people, removing the caste and colour discrimination, setting up rural and cottage industries in some of the out pockets, enhancing the faith of people in their industrious nature, nurturing and adopting rural technology base with utmost confidence and courage, preparing oneself for  the forthcoming challenges and making a system of economic practices on the basis of decentralized productivity, enabling people to stick to their resource base, managing production units on the basis of the resource map and finally relying upon the Indigenous Products with utmost courage.  Economic thoughts and postulates of Mahatma Gandhi were well implemented by Dr. J. C. Kumarappa through his series of studies. Gandhi wanted him to study the situation of rural India through a sample study of Matar Block of Khera District. Kumarappa wanted to diversify the plan of Rural Industrialisation through incorporating some other trades by the side of Spinning and Weaving.

Liberal thought of Mahatma moved on toward accepting the dynamic planning of Kumarappa perpetually aimed toward revitalizing the rural industries through adopting a series of training and facilitation programmes duly patronized by some of the industrious followers of Mahatma. Kumarappa received a series of setback in the form of agitation of some other schools of thoughts prevailing in the team of National Planning. Some of the prominent supporters of Large Industries claimed the planning of Gandhi and Kumarappa as a reverse spin of the wheel of progress.  Such agitation reflected only because of the lack of adequate vision of real progress that was designed to accommodate even poorest as well as marginalized villagers that remained active  in the stream of productivity and working force.  It was even continued to a greater extent without any state support. The need of diversification as well as incorporation of innovation remained in the format of the Rural Industrialisation Plan adopted by Institutions working on the principle of Gandhi and Kumarappa.

            Related to some of the misconception that prevailed in society regarding plan and principle of Gandhi and Kumarappa regarding Rural Industrialisation should be diffused first for creating the suitable ground for implementing postulates of Gandhian Economy (popularly coined as Economy of Permanence). Mahatma was not against Large Industries and Mass Production, but he was against such system that neglects the immediate need of the fellow villagers. Instrumentation of Cottage Industry should be supplemented with creation of a mechanism of repairing such instruments at local level. Instrumentation of Cottage Industry should also move on parallel to the resource base from which the unskilled Artisan aspiring for imparting oneself in the main stream of productivity.  Gandhi was also not against any import, but his emphasis was on creating all possible efforts of manufacturing all such products at any rural out pockets and creating a market network for safeguarding artisans remaining involved in the system.

Present Day Relevance of Economy of Permanence

 

Rural Work forces at some of the out pockets still remain off the stream of National Productivity because of their poor and Non- Scientific Knowledge Base. They are still staying beyond their own aspiration of getting involved in the productivity system. It is simply because of the lack of adequate information related to some of the successful enterprises working with great zeal and enthusiasm in the National Productivity System. It is also because of the lack of vision about the possible return in terms of any suitable multiple of the investment. Some other business houses offer greater return in terms of remuneration to fellow workers by launching their high priced products having reflections of delicacy and royal colour. In the present day situation currency leads and regulates the market, keeping aside the need and aspirations of poor and marginalised workers of rural community.

Skill Acquisition

            Skills needed for regulating the cycle of production or processing of certain item is the foremost factor that can bring forth the initiation of the required economic process. Understanding the productivity and processing cycle, collecting the aspiration of people, taking notes on the choice factor of users, preparing the probable productivity cycle, guessing the quantum of efforts required for making the production and processing cycle a reality are some of the pre-requisites which will expose the Artisan or Service Provider to a process oriented management framework.  Such kind of process orientation even considers probable risk factors that might put a setback in bringing out the success.

            Skill of managing the entire situation especially during time of conflict and unrest is the second accomplishable quality that can maintain the pulse of productivity and processing. When to speed up the process and when to slow it down is the subject of the analysis of Demand- Supply Chain. A skillful aspirant can guess the stress of Demand – Supply chain and accordingly issue a needful guidance for people involved in operating the production and processing chain. It will be more perpetual to ascribe a system of production and processing toward bringing out a desirable result in appropriate time span.

Learning from Experience

            It is more advisable to keep on collecting experiences of other successful enterprises from different streams of processing and productivity and incorporating qualities of the successful enterprise in the self-ascribed one. It will even bring up the quality of the system for making the product and services an acceptable one in the market. Learning from experience may lead toward any one or all of the following aspects a reality.

  1. It can pave a way of improving the quality of production and processing possible.
  2. It can expose the Artisans to the immediate need of the acquisition of required skills and instrumentation for making the system of production and processing an enhanced one.
  3. Making the production and processing cycle a resource based will be another dimension leading the artisan toward attainment of success.
  4. Production and processing cycle will become a practically accomplishable goal within the limitations of the resource base and flow of finance.

Not only that learning from experience will enhance the confidence level of an artisan and help them by all means to envision the advent of probable success through certain instrumentation and processing. By doing so, the Artisan can put forth a healthy production and processing cycle for bringing out high quality products and services.

                           Usually we become more involved in monitoring the flow of finance. We even start regulating flow of finance at all possible instances. Monitoring of quality parameters often remain neglected at various levels of production and processing cycle, bringing the entire system of quality assurance mechanism under a question mark. It often makes us secondarily dependent upon some external factors for mimicking the quality of the product and processing. It finally hampers the situation up to a greater extent leading toward degradation of quality of production and processing. Situation often becomes so critical that revival of that state usually becomes a less accomplishable task.

            It would be better, at this juncture, that we imply adequate emphasis upon both financial as well as qualitative monitoring initiatives duly impregnated with the feasibility analysis.

From Quality to Care

            Quality itself is a relative term that depends entirely on the quality apprehension of a limited group of people. It often implies subtle variations in between two or more quality concerns of people getting involved in delivering or accepting the services and products from the unit under consideration. What we understand as a best quality can be of some limitations to some other group of people. They may point out some of the hidden demerits of the product or services as per their level of understanding.

            It would be more advisable to skip out of the standardization of any products of services in terms of any quality parameters. More perpetually one can take care of the entire system on the basis of the level of understanding a person is maintaining. Enhancing the level of knowledge and understanding and implying the same in delivering services will be a cyclic dimension of the Care Management that remain focused upon bringing the best possible services and products from a system implement.

ICT Tools

            What one can incorporate in the system of the business cycle, and what one can keep aside for making the production and processing cycle a cheapest one is reflecting a state of dilemma for any aspirant. These days incorporation of Information and Communication tool in the business cycle is becoming an obligatory affair. It often speed up the entire process, make the instrumentation process a dynamic one, keep the business cycle at proper pace and allow proper thrust upon the manual involvements. Aspects related to Audit and Accounting, regulating human resources, designing process and instrumentation and publishing business related documents are some of the aspects duly covered up through ICT implements. It can even upgrade the entire business cycle through automation of the productivity chain.

            Regarding a misconception of replacement of manual work force by the automation, it can be clarified that the entirely automated business cycle will make it more and more result oriented as well as swift and perfectly designed in terms of operational issues. It can even move the process instrumentation toward adequate success mark. Our apprehension with ICT enabled skills[i] of workers getting involved in the entire system will keep the system implements duly involved in the business cycle a vibrant one. It can make the entire system of production and processing a competent on and also it will move up to the global standard.

            The accomplishable quality enhancement may be for some individual gain or may be for the gain of the entire community. Without interacting with other individual a life process, or problems related to the life process may remain un-attended. It may lead toward a chaos of the demand and supply mechanism. A doctor, for instance, may remain unexplored without the approach of fellow patients. Similar the case in between communications of students and teachers, advocates and clients, shop keepers and customers etc.

            Communication is therefore an essential part of human society through which different entities of a society come closure to each other. It even makes the social functioning appropriate as well as time tested. A farmer can communicate the entity of the immediate requirement for sorting out any problem. Reliance upon mass communication media will ensure a definite progress in time. Communication even bring people together for raising their voice jointly upon any issue. Proper and timely communication even ensure the birth of a vibrant family in the society. Access to information will raise the level of the community consciousness that in turn will increase the levels of the understanding of people.

Matter of Simplicity

                        An efficient economic process ensures the total participation of both people and the implementing agencies for enabling the confluence of the related services and efforts. Involvement of artisans and workers in a system is primarily determined by the level of experience the referred person is maintaining. We know that works of any individual is recognised in a society on the basis of the importance of the work the person associated with. Public recognition of any individual in society indicates the importance of the person in society. Doctors and teachers generally receive higher recognition because of the importance of their services. Services of farmers and artisans are equally important in our society because of their involvement in the productivity. A conscious society can recognize the importance of the members involved in the economy of enterprises. Only conscious members of a family can think about the well beings of a farmer in the society. Such consciousness of people in turn will ensure the social security of the members involved in the economy of enterprises.

            A life process in society, therefore, must not be standardized simply in terms of dress and wealth. It may be standerdised properly in terms of efforts and knowledge. Efforts and knowledge are the two important wheels of the collective progress of a society. Standard of living of the rural society may be enhanced by ensuring some of the basic facilities like sanitation, housing, medication, and access to education, access of information etc. For enhanced efforts an expanded Knowledge base will play a definitive role in making a society developed and sustained one.

Insecurity Feelings

            Another obstacle that often hampers the normal growth of any Artisan is the insecurity feeling related to the growth and development of certain components related to products and services. Inability of putting forth certain new item in front of the other prevailing ones as an exemplar one often put the effort under question mark. Before placing any item for trial the fellow artisan lose all hope and come to a fixed apprehension for not contemplating upon the effort of making the productivity chain alive. Foremost reason of the sustained insecurity feeling is because of the lack of any financial stability and also lack of any direct regulation upon the market. Marketing professionals usually opt for any item that people become habituated for. They rarely agree upon putting some new item on their tray for a trial. This kind of affinity of the marketing professionals makes the marketing effort a challenging one for artisans.

            It can be handled properly by adopting some confidence building measures keeping the artisan in the central focus. Creating Artisan’s group, availing community market network, making all products available at public places, availing market support to artisans by any public enterprises are some of the immediate measures which can enhance the level of confidence of fellow artisans up to a certain level.

Importance of Market

            Selection of any product or service for large scale operation is the subject of looking upon the market for the assessment of the immediate demand of the same. There may be some of the basic questions which can be put forth for such kind of analytical study being conducted by the artisan for the purpose of the product assessment drive.

Some of such questions will be as follows:

  1. What type of persons gets the immediate benefit of the newly developed product or service?
  2. Are there any other sources involved in the delivery of such type of services?
  3. If yes, then is there any demerits remain hidden in their products and services?
  4. If some demerits of available products and services are duly pointed out, then is the newly launched product and service come up in the market after resolving such demerits?
  5. Is there any comparative study on the cost effectiveness of the product and service under consideration?
  6. What is the immediate reference area of the product and service that bring out for the business circulation and make the entire stream operational?
  7. What are the challenging aspects of the service line up related to making products and services alive?

            Thinking upon all sorts of safeguards related to make the effort of productivity a successful one is the aspect that requires immediate attention of the fellow artisan. Keeping oneself aware of the advent of all sorts of difficulties is the immediate requirement of the success indication.

 Know Oneself

            Shopkeepers worship their beloved God before opening the hut, industrious people worship God just before cementing the first brick of their construction works, crafts person worship their instruments during some fixed interval of days to commemorate the supreme power. Worship of energy and efforts is the custom of universal occurrence.  There occurs an emotional attachment of artisans with their instruments. They even take care of their instruments on a regular basis. Gradually they come up with an enhanced vision of putting their efforts to keep all the instruments at perfectly operational state. They even consider their instruments as their immediate focus of scheduled daily activities.

            Nobody claim the direct interaction with God, but we can feel the presence of such Divine power within ourselves. Manifestation of such power will put us at a state of success where we become fearless in delivering our best possible efforts and services to our immediate reference group. That state of awakening will be the accomplishable goal for any individual including the fellow artisan.

 Confidence Building Measures

 The nature and extent of support, not only in the form of technical knowhow but also in the form of assistance to cope up with market, should be considered for making the system implement appropriate for the rural artisans and farmers. More perpetually one can plan to link up the community with the immediate availability of the resource base for ensuring greater chance of success. Proper combination of Resource, Technology and Skills can define the scope of attaining success. Gandhi always worked to search out proper technology, proper mechanism to rely upon, living within minimum, and also moving out of the activities leading toward creation of waste and unrest. Technology to be adopted should be people friendly and easy to handle, even it should be compatible to the type of resource base a community relying upon. All sorts of absurdity should be removed.

            Lack of confidence upon the system and its implements is the immediate set back that often brings the entire chain of productivity under question mark. One rarely prefers to wait up to the moment of the creation of any enhanced demand of the locally developed products. Better one should launch the implements on an experimental basis duly supplemented with a subtle increase in the productivity.

Easy to Access

 Financial Institutions always imply a prolonged processing of any appeal of fund. It should be made flexible in terms of availing ease of access to small and marginalised artisans. There is other side responsible for the complexity of the processing of any appeal of finance. Most of aspirants become defaulter while moving across newly implemented enterprise leading toward a severe loss because of the mismatch of resource, technology and knowledge. It often becomes so worse in some cases that put a crafts person or farmer to a life risk. Situation of farmers in Vidarbha because of indebtedness can be placed as an example.  Some fellow farmers of Nimdih Block of Saraykela District of Jharkhand received Bullocks financed by a Nationalised Bank. Loss of the life of one of the bullock made another one useless, and in a gradual succession the farmer trapped in the clutch of the financial crisis because of the lack of any immediate return in terms of productivity. The marginalised farmer again trapped in the net of turmoil because of the intervention of a private source of finance for clearing the Bank Loan. The Bank was not in a situation to bring the farmer out of the previous indebtedness because of the rigidity of the financial regulations of the Development Initiatives of the government.

Think Globally

 While planning for any industrial activity suitable for a specific rural community, one can imply the credibility of the selected products as per the global standards. Standards of such level can bring the entire system to a stream of implements having more focus upon the look and finish of the outcome to be entangled with the market system. Product should say its own purity and perfectness. It should even attend and apprehend the quality consciousness of people willing to rely upon the same. It should not even break the linkages of demand and supply for enhancing the systematized permanence. This kind of market mechanism will undoubtedly increase the market demand of the selected item. If any business house of Europe implies stress upon manufacturing Artificial Fabrics with greater success indicators, the same can be housed in the National Economy with higher index of success supplemented with profit. Productivity should go on parallel to the demand that duly created in market. One should remain stick to the mechanism after considering the global demand.

Focused Action

              All kinds of trade, related to processing or manufacturing of any product duly selected, should be considered for a complete productivity cycle. The process orientation should be designed in such a way that it should sustain up to the advent of the newly launched product for a complete cycle of the productivity stream. Obtaining the market feedback and implementing the populated recommendations in the forthcoming production cycle is another aspect that can be incorporated in the Industrial activity for making it a vibrant one.  Scope of innovation in all sorts of industrious activities and revival of small scale industries will be of no termination. It can be better ascribed as a journey from better to the best.

Additional Readings

  1. An Economic Survey of Matar Taluka; Gujarat Vidhyapeeth; 1952, pages: 155.
  2. Zachariah, Developing India: an intellectual and social history, c.1930–1950 (2005), esp. chapter 3, ‘Towards a political philosophy of the village community’
  3. Zachariah, ‘Interpreting Gandhi: J. C. Kumarappa, modernity and the East’, in Culture and democracy: papers from the cultural studies workshops, ed. T. Guhathakurta (1999. Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)
  4. Christianity: Its Economy and Way of Life; Navajivan, Ahmedabad; 1945, pages: 124.
  5. Clive to Keynes; Navajivan, Ahmedabad; 1947, pages: 44.
  6. Cow in Our Economy; Sarva Seva Sangh Prakashan, Rajghat, Varanasi 221001, 1963, pages: 76
  7. Economic and Political Weekly; v.40 no.52 (24 December 2005)
  8. Economy of Permanence Part II; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1948, pages: 87.
  9. Economy of Permanence; Sarva Seva Sangh Prakashan, Rajghat, Varanasi 221001, 1984, pages: 208
  10. Europe Through Gandhian Eyes; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1948, pages: 29
  11. Gandhian Economic Thought; Sarva Seva Sangh Prakashan, Rajghat, Varanasi 221001, 1962, pages: 94
  12. Grinding of Cereals; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1947, pages: 15
  13. . Kumarappa Birth Centenary Committee, Kumarappa Centenary Souvenir (1992)
  14. Kumarappa, Joseph C.; Trad. Di Marinella Correggia (2011). Economia di condivisione. Come uscire dalla crisi mondiale (in Italian). Pisa: Centro Gandhi Edizioni. ISBN 978-88-7500-029-5.
  15. Lessons from Europe; Sarva Seva Sangh Prakashan, Wardha, 1954, pages: 49
  16. Lindley, Mark (2007). J. C. Kumarappa Mahatma Gandhi’s Economist. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7991-280-5.
  17. Vinaik, J. C. Kumarappa and his quest for world peace (1956)
  18. Vinaik, The Gandhian crusader – a biography of Dr. J. C. Kumarappa (1987)
  19. Peace and Prosperity; Maganwadi, Wardha, 1948, pages: 37.
  20. Present Economic Situation; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1949, pages: 151.
  21. Public Finance and Our Poverty; Navajivan, Ahmedabad; 1930, pages: 110
  22. Rajeswar, Rao P. (1991). Great Indian Patriots. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. ISBN 978-81-7099-288-2.
  23. K. George and G. Ramachandran, The economics of peace: the cause and the man (1952)
  24. Solomon Victus, Jesus and mother economy (2007. ISPCK, New Delhi) [ISBN 978-81-7214-977-2]
  25. Solomon Victus, Religion and Eco-Economics of Dr J. C. Kumarappa – Gandhism redefined (2003. ISPCK, New Delhi) [ISBN 81-7214-711-2]
  26. Stone Walls and Iron Bars; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1949, pages: 21.
  27. Swadeshi; Sindhu Publication; 1992, pages: 32.
  28. Swaraj for the Masses; Hind Kitab Ltd. Bombay; 1948, pages: 104
  29. The Gandhian Economy and Other Essays; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1949, pages: 120
  30. M. Govindhu and D. Malghan, ‘Building a creative freedom: J. C. Kumarappa and his economic philosophy’ (September 2005), to appear in the Economic and Political Weekly [and available at www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/venu/jck.pdf]
  1. Village Industries; Maganwadi, Wardha; 1947, pages: 72.
  2. Why the Village Movement; Sarva Seva Sangh Prakashan, Rajghat, Varanasi 221001,1958, pages: 203.
  3. Sengupta Chandan Sukumar, Nurturing Enterprise,(2016) pages 27

Chandan Sukumar Sengupta

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