Category Archives: Clarifying Gandhi

A collection of articles by Dr. P.K. Willey on Earth Ethics and current topics, authored with the aim to give the reader a clearer idea of who Gandhi is.

An Open Letter to Arundhati Roy by an American

© P.K. Willey Ph.D.

Dear Arundhati Roy,

Greetings! I have been peripherally following your writings, interviews, and efforts since 2008, when first introduced to your 1999 essay, “For the Greater Common Good,” via the Narmada Bachao Andolan website. That was my first awareness of your brilliance as a writer, your wry sense of humour, your sheer, fearless pluck, your social daring, and your patently sincere good intentions. I am touched and inspired by your profound concern for India and for human justice.

In this essay, I saw also your view on Gandhi – frankly a school girl’s view. Following your activities, I now see that a misinformed view of his thought and action has led you to misrepresent Gandhi unfairly to the public around the planet. Continue reading →

Clarifying Gandhi #2: the Machine and the Village

One of the big areas of confusion about Gandhi, are his views on technology and machines, and how they relate to his ideals. This angle on Gandhi, like the food-chain, finds building-blocks with duty, varna (social ordering), trusteeship, his vows of non-possession and non-stealing, education, and much more. Indeed, to paraphrase one of our great American sages, John Muiri, it is difficult to pull out a single subject in Gandhi’s thought, without finding that it is hitched to everything else.

For Gandhi, his views on machines were guided by his certainty that:

“God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.”ii

At age 55, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, after nearly 27 years abroad in UK and South Africa. Industrialization had dawned heavily in the western nations, noisily processing the spoils of resources and labor from the colonies. His two community experiments in South Africa had shown him the value of communal living in pursuit of high ideals, bodily labor for the common good, simplicity, austerity, and a close relationship with Nature. Continue reading →

M.K. Gandhi

Clarifying Gandhi’s Earth Ethics

Many people think that Gandhi stands for vegetarianism, and passive resistance. Yet does he really? What did his stance on these topics really mean?

Gandhi (1869-1948) was an evolutionary revolutionary. He kept on reforming and expanding his outlook and personal philosophy throughout his life. You can find a Gandhi quote to back up anything. Yet of his written works, at age 63, Gandhi said: Continue reading →