Ralegan-Siddhi (Maharashtra) : Anna Hazare Tuesday called for returning to the Gandhian principles of holistic development of villages and creating more ‘model villages’ with the help of industrialists.
“Some industrialists had financially supported Mahatma Gandhi. To create ‘model villages’, we will also have to involve such industrialists who are willing to serve the country and are of good character,” Hazare urged.
In his new blog (annahazaresays.indiaagainstcorruption.org) unveiled Tuesday, Hazare has penned an inaugural article titled: ‘Curbing Corruption and Holistic Development of Villages – These Two Things are Important for Country’s Development,’ in Hindi and English.
The social activist pointed out that Gandhi wanted development which would not be based on exploitation of man and nature, but by making villages self-sufficient and self-administered.
However, he regretted that natural resources were being exploited indiscriminately. “This is not the right kind of development.”
Hazare added that there was no limit to increase in population but natural resources were limited and were getting depleted.
“Due to indiscriminate exploitation, there is severe water scarcity in many villages. In summers water has to be imported in tankers. Today water has got exhausted, some day petrol would get exhausted, diesel would get exhausted, kerosene would get exhausted, coal would get exhausted. What will happen to our future generations?” Hazare wondered.
This is why, he pointed out, Gandhi believed that correct planning for development must take into account availability of natural resources.
Since India lives in villages, Gandhi advocated changing the economic conditions of the villages by providing them adequate work and food which would prevent migration to urban areas, he said.
He dwelt at length on the other aspects of urban-centric development, crimes, debt burden, problems of soil erosion, irrigation and drinking water despite huge dams, and potential shortage of electricity.
Hazare described in detail the example of his village Ralegan-Siddhi which he started developing since 1975 on Gandhian principles, and is today a model village in the country.
Justifying his campaign for a strong anti-corruption law, he said that creating more model villages would help arrest corruption and develop village communities.
Hazare’s earlier blog was discontinued a few weeks ago after a controversy erupted on matters related to its content by his panel of writers.