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Inequality, weakening democracy, environmental destruction most pressing problems of today, says sociologist A R Vasavi

Mysuru: Noted Sociologist A R Vasavi said inequality, weakening democracy, and environmental destruction are the most pressing problems of our times.

Speaking at the book launch of Sumanas Koulagi’s Development as Swaraj: Towards a Sustainable and Equitable Future here on Saturday, she said there are potential solutions for these civilisational crises in Mahatma Gandhi’s conception of Swaraj.

She said the solutions have been demonstrated well in Sumanas’ book.

Speaking on the occasion, economist and author M S Sriram said that globalisation is creating havoc. Economies of scale have become the golden rule to survive in the global market and automation is being considered inevitable to maintain international standards. Therefore, physical labour is seen as backward and undignified. As a result, different forms of inequalities are increasing in society and the book Development as Swaraj effectively discusses the ways to tackle them, he said.

“The world has enough for everyone’s need and not for everyone’s greed was a prophetic statement made by Mahatma Gandhi in the early 20th century. Issues that are being raised by contemporary environmentalists were raised by Gandhi and J C Kumarappa a long back through their ideas of decentralisation and self-sufficiency,” said Sriram.

Ecological Economist from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore Deepak Malghan said conception of efficiency is driving the modern world and it is one of the root causes for the current development paradigm of mass production, mass consumption, and mass destruction. He outlined the close nexus between the notion of efficiency and colonial legacy.

Further, he discussed the need to replace efficiency with sufficiency to sustain ourselves on this planet. He said that Sumanas’ book makes an important contribution towards this transition.

Author Sumanas Koulagi and others were present during the occasion.

(Published 22 October 2023, 02:23 IST)

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