J. C. Kumarappa

J. C. Kumarappa

J. C. Kumarappa (born Joseph Chelladurai Cornelius) (January 4, 1892 - January 30, 1960) was an Indian economist and a close associate of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. A pioneer of rural economic development theories, Kumarappa is credited for developing economic theories based on Gandhism — a school of economic thought he coined "Gandhian economics."

Early life

Born in Tanjore (now in Tamil Nadu), Kumarappa changed his name following his return from studying economics and chartered accountancy in England in 1919. Kumarappa travelled to the United States in 1928 to obtain degrees in economics and business administration at the Syracuse University and Columbia University, studying under Edwin Robert Anderson Seligman.

Gandhian economics

Upon his return to India, Kumarappa published a major article on the British tax policy and its exploitation of the Indian economy. Upon Gandhi's request, Kumarappa prepared a major economic survey and study of rural India in Gujarat, which he published under the title "A Survey of Matar Taluka in the Kheda District". Kumarappa worked to imbibe Gandhian values of "trusteeship," non-violence and a focus on human dignity and development in place of materialism as the basis of his economic theories. While rejecting socialism's emphasis on class war and force in implementation, Kumarappa's ideas also rejected the emphasis on material development, competition and efficiency in free-market economics. Gandhi and Kumarappa envisioned an economy focused on satisfying fundamental human needs and challenges, while rooting out socio-economic conflict, unemployment, poverty and deprivation.

Kumarappa worked as a professor of economics at the Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, while serving as the editor of "Young India" during the Salt Satyagraha. Kumarappa helped found and organise the All India Village Industries Association in 1935 and was imprisoned for more than a year during the Quit India movement. He wrote two books during his imprisonment, "Economy of Permanence" and the "Practice and Precepts of Jesus".

Later life

After India's independence, Kumarappa worked for the Planning Commission of India and the Indian National Congress to develop national policies for agriculture and rural development. Kumarappa also travelled to the People's Republic of China, East European nations and Japan on diplomatic assignments and to study rural economic systems being implemented there. He spent some time in Sri Lanka, where he received Ayurvedic treatment and settled down in Madurai at the M. K. Gandhi Niketan, where he would continue his work in economics and writing books. After his death, the "Kumarappa Institute of Gram Swaraj" was founded in his honour.

ee also


* [http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/venu/jck.pdf/ Building a Creative Freedom : J C Kumarappa and his Economic Philosophy]
*Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 40 no. 52 Dec 24, 2005
* [http://www.kigs.org/ Kumarappa Institute of Gram Swaraj]
* [http://www.kigs.org/kumarappa1.htm KIGS biography of Kumarappa]
* [http://www.samanvaya.com/frames/knowledge/articles/jck.htm Kumarappa biography]

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