The Web of Freedom

The Web of Freedom

Freedom fighter, economic philosopher, environmentalist and Gandhian constructive worker, Joseph Cornelius Kumarappa (1892-1960) was a man of many parts. His strength of convictions drove Kumarappa to abandon a life of prosperity and comfort to throw in his lot with that of Mahatma Gandhi. The result was a lifetime spent championing the cause of rural India, both under the British Raj and after independence.

Kumarappa was that rare thinker who married theory with practice. He wrote extensively with insight and wisdom on economic philosophy, political economy and the fate of agrarian India. An advocate of a decentralised economy and an early Indian environmentalist, Kumarappa was also a creative interpreter of Christian thought and Sarvodaya. Simultaneously, he also worked on improving village industries that offered a livelihood to millions. If Gandhi's swaraj was more than political self-rule, it was Kumarappa who gave it economic content and meaning.

In his fight for economic justice, Kumarappa often challenged received wisdom on industrialisation and modernity. Seen from this perspective, this book examines the vital political and economic choices in the crucial decades of the 1930s through 1950s.

Based on extensive archival research, this highly readable, intellectual biography presents the fascinating story of Kumarappa's life, work and ideas that have a strikingly contemporary resonance.

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