The Logo

The best of Bhavan's Journal

English fortnightly, devoted to life, literature and culture.

Vol: 14  No: 01


13 August 1967

Economic Order and Changing Values

Pravinchandra V. Gandhi

“The sole basis of all the laws and regulations, which were universally accepted and respected, was ethical and moral principles. The sense of Dharma was the cohesive guiding force which welded the entire society into a closely-knit harmonious unit.”

-Pravinchandra V. Gandhi

In the bygone days, there was no rigid dichotomy as between social order, economic order and the like. Society was built up on the foundations of a well-laid and universally accepted ethical and moral order and all activities, be they religious, social, political, economic or administrative, were guided by what is known as the Varnashrama system.
The function of different wings of society were clearly stipulated. The ways and methods in which each limb of society should discharge its duties and responsibilities were precisely indicated and the rights and privileges laid down.
The merchant or the cultivator knew what taxes he had to pay to the ruler; the ruler was aware of the privileges and the extent of loyalty that he could command from his subjects and the duties that he owed to society. The relationship between the ruler and the ruled, the merchant and the community, the employer and the employee, the teacher and the taught were all so harmoniously regulated with common consent that the system enabled the society to progress smoothly and peacefully.
The sense of Dharma was the cohesive guiding force which welded the entire society into a closely-knit harmonious unit. The same sense of Dharma acted as a potent spur for each wing of society to strive for and attain moral and material progress according to its capacity and effort.

Western Influence
It is the incursion of Western thought and Western ways of living which created the watertight compartments of religion, society, economy, administration, judiciary etc. and drove a wedge into the fabric of

society by cutting asunder the common bond of ethical and moral principles.
Corrupting influences penetrated into the fabric of society and the ancient system came to be abused and used as a tool for exploitation and self-preservation, rather than as a means of promoting collective well-being and common good. The old order of society crumbled before the onset of Western Industrial Revolution and modern influences.
Much of the conflicts that we see today in our economic order can be ascribed to the lack of respect to the moral and ethical values which were the prime guiding forces in the past. Religion has become the personal concern of the individual and with it, the moral and ethical values as well. An individual may observe them, if his conscience so dictates but as far as the external world is concerned, obedience to the letter of the law and regulations of the State is all that matters. Rights, privileges and concessions that one can extract from another through coercion or pressure, irrespective of the justness or otherwise, irrespective of the repercussions on society or the nation, have now become the primary motivation of all actions.
The national cause is impaired. Society demoralizes. Conflict widens. There is no compulsive force, motive or superior loyalty which could have an ennobling influence. Ethical and moral values, the sense of Dharma, has no locus standi in the modern impersonal, institutionalized, secular setup.Unless ethical and spiritual values once again form the basis of the national milieu, these conflicts in society are bound to persist.

Bhavan's Journal

13 August 1967

Next Page »


Bhavan's Journal

Subscribe To Bhavan's Journal

Read it, Collect it & Preserve it for future generations.

Subscription Form →

Language: English
Periodicity: Fortnightly.
Publishing on: 15th and 30th of each month.
Editor-in-charge: P.V.Sankarankutty
Assistant Editor: Smt. Vatsala Pisharody

Editorial & Administrative Office
Bhavan's Journal
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Kulapati Dr. K. M. Munshi Marg,
Chowpatty, Mumbai 400 007.
Phone: 022-23631261

Advertise With Us

We have various options for advertising in Bhavan's Journal.

Rate Card →


Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Munshi Sadan, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Chowk,
Kulapati K. M. Munshi Marg,
Mumbai 400 007.

Locate Us

Contact Us

Tel. Nos.:(022) 23631261
(022) 23630265
(022) 23634462 / 63/ 64

Copyright © All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms and Conditions | Sitemap |