I have been reflecting in my own way on Dattopant Thengadi Ji's Third Way. I present these small "ripples" that it has caused in my mind in a series. I am glad it has found its resonance in many thinking minds alike. I hope the readers have read the earlier article in the series before moving ahead.
Dattopant repeatedly stated in his writings that modernisation is essentially not westernisation. Dr Bokare too doesn't subscribe to the idea that model developed by western world is a universal model of progress and development. For a country like Bharat which had a dynamic social system evolved need not borrow the western model and western terminology to describe such social phenomena. Dattopant repeatedly refers to the writings of a well-known Mexican author(Ivan Illich) and specially his book ' The development myth'. The book describes erosion of everything traditionally evolved and getting it substituted by all sorts of social evils in detail. He has used the expression 'the malignant myth'.
Dattopant thinks the western model is in 'direct contrast with Hindu model'.
In 1972 Shri Guruji illustrated the basic Hindu view in a meet at Thane. Dattopant deduced the points from the discourse.
Hindu philosophy or may be the correct word would be 'Darshan', perceives social reality in spiritual and ethical aspect also. It plays a very meaningful role when it is seen in a wider perspective.
• Everyone must have sufficient means to get basic needs satisfied.
• Acquisition of wealth ought to be within the framework of ethics. Means are to be used judiciously, using more than the needs should be considered to be against the society.
• We are trustees of our acquisition. There has to be ceiling on individual accumulation.
• Consumerism is not to be supported in any way. It is labelled as a sin.
• ' Maximum production and equitable distribution' is the motto which would lead to national self reliance.
• Though industrialisation is inevitable, ecological balance can't be ignored at any cost. Education, ecology, economics and ethics are to be ingrained in the system.
• Unemployment and under- employment both are to be dealt with all seriousness. May be labour intensive approach is to be adopted rather than capital intensive one.
• Technology is to be introduced for the benefit of the artisans. We need indigenous technology with the focus on decentralisation of production. Factory need not be the centre of production.
• Labour to be considered as a form of capital. It should treated as a share of a workers.
• The commitment to national interest is emphasised. Customer's interest is to be focused, it is in a way national interest. The western concept of collective bargaining is not endorsed by Shri Guruji.
• 'The surplus value of labour belongs to the nation'.
• The type of industrial ownership is to be determined by keeping the nature of industry and the national economy in view.
• Any socio-economic order is to be developed within the framework of (Sanatan) Dharm.
• Individual and society are not contrary to each other, they rather are to be in 'harmony' and 'cooperation'.
• Any system works well if the individuals strive to make it work. So they have to be 'moulded’ to help society work to safeguard the interests of all and allow all to develop well.
• Feeling of oneness with the nation is the 'real infrastructure' of any socio-economic order that ensures the smooth working.
These may sound too ideal or to a greater extent impossible to be followed but the leaders of society need to contemplate. They certainly aren't regressive.