Lindley, author of J C Kumarappa: Mahatma Gandhi’s Economist, was delivering the memorial lecture organised by Tamil daily Dinamani at the Constitution Club to commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Kumarappa, former editor of Young India.
Lindley pointed out that the first pages of Kumarappa’s Economy of Permanence put ecology at the centre of his argument. This, according to Lindley, was pathbreaking in a sphere populated by economists concerned with human condition.
“Ecological economics, which was not a priority during Kumarappa’s time, is vital to 21st Century economic theory. In fact, Kumarappa captured in his writings what even Schumacher failed to, because Schumacher failed to capture the ecological aspect of economics,” said Lindley. Lindley said Kumarappa’s economics was captured in the sub-text of
T Karunakaran’s book, which was released during the function. “Economy as if people and planet mattered”, read the sub-text of the book Rural Economic Zone by the director of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialisation.
The sub-text to British economist E F Schumachers’ 1973 classic, Small Is Beautiful, had said, “A study of economics as if people mattered”.
Lindley also noted Kumarappa was the “prophet of ecological economics” who was “full of original ideas”.
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi, research professor at the Centre for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, brought out some of the finer aspects of the relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and Kumarappa in his keynote address.
Also present were former minister Mohan Dharia, Member of Parliament Ajit Singh and editor of Dinamani, K Vaidiyanathan.