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India In Class Essay

861 words - 4 pages

During the 20th century, while Mohandas Gandhi was a successful political and economic leader during the independence movement, his success dwindled over the course of the 20th century because his ideals were unrealistic and short-term. In the early fight for independence, Gandhi was able to harness the spirits of the masses’ anti-Western sentiments using extreme nationalism and the promise of democracy. However, his success did not last after India gained liberation; with nothing left to unite the largest democracy in the world, fractures soon formed and rulers were forced to undermine India’s democratic system to maintain stability and prosperity. As the world grew increasingly globalized, an India ruled by dictatorial leaders shifted even farther away from Gandhi’s ideals in its move toward a more free-market economy. Mohandas Gandhi’s political and economic policies were successful in the short run, but freedom created fractures in the nation that proved his ideals to be impractical.
Throughout India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule, Gandhi’s democratic, nationalistic economic and political policies successfully united the nation and enabled it to achieve independence. After years of education through British-run schools, the country and its people were ready to create their own democracy, but Britain repressed the nation’s demands for political independence. At that time, Gandhi saw that all political activity was centered on the Indian National Congress. To change this, he promoted swadeshi, the use of products of “one’s own country,” and Satyagraha, or “truth-force,” as ways for Indian people to unite against their oppressors. He argued for small-scale, traditional economies based on villages. Even though this plan was inefficient at the time, it would provide jobs for everyone. Gandhi’s policies promoted a complete rejection of Western goods and services, which united the nation and made its fight for independence a success.
Despite his early triumphs, Gandhi’s success did not last after India’s liberation; no other bonds united the large nation, and as a result, divisions formed and rulers were forced to shift toward socialism to maintain order and economic growth. The Nehru family came to power after Gandhi’s assassination, promoting socialism, central planning, industrialization, and government control, the exact opposite of what Gandhi wanted for post-independence India. They saw the inefficiencies of his plan and knew that in order to become a global ¬¬¬¬power, India had to modernize its equipment. The Nehrus heavily regulated the capitalist sector of the economy and many people moved from agrarian locations to urban ones. While the Nehrus still stressed the...

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