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Gandhain Perspective

Development and Environment Issues with special reference to Gandhian Perspective

Knowledge and Craft-work

Q. I do not understand why you give equal importance to the acquisition of knowledge and the learning of craft-work at the same time.

A. They must be given an equal importance. It used to be so in olden times. The student went to the teacher with a bundle of sacrificial sticks in his hands which indicated his readiness to work and his humility. The former consisted of fetching wood from the forest and water for the use of the Guru. The student also learned something about agriculture, cow-keeping etc.

To-day, this is not so, and that is one of the reasons why there is so much hunger, injustice and vice in the world. Literacy, i.e., learning of books, acquisition of intellectual knowledge and useful manual work in various crafts are not different, though they may seem so. Efforts to separate them and break the link that binds them together, results in the misuse of knowledge. The intellectual side of it is like the husband, and manual labor like his wife. The bond between the two is indissoluble. Divorced from manual labor, this husband is to-day acting like a libertine. He casts his evil eye here, there and everywhere and yet remains unsatisfied and in the end falls down tired and spent.


Tom Roche (trading as) Just Forests Ltd.
Ringfort Workshop, Rathcobican, Rhode, Offaly, Ireland
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