Gandhiji worked on many fronts during his life – Political, Social, Economic, Education, Health, Hindi, Women Empowerment, Leprosy, Spinning, Cattle Wealth , Spirituality etc

For each activity he had a champion like Sardar Patel and Nehru, Aryanayakam, Dr Sushila Nayar, Manohar Diwan, Vinoba Bhave, Jamnalal Bajaj etc.

He entrusted to Dr JC Kumarappa the broad activities of economic research and planning, village industries, research in village technology . He was eatlier based at Sabarmati Ashram, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and later at Maganwadi the head quarter of All India Village Industry Association.

Dr Kumarappa was a Chartered Accountant and after a brief practice in Mumbai did his Ph.D in Economics in USA. His thesis “Public Finance and Our Poverty” brought him to Gandhi in 1929. He gave up his practice and residence in Mumbai to join Gandhiji after a few minutes of meeting at Ahmedabad.

Gandhiji use to lovingly call him Doctor of Village Industries .

Dr Kumarappa wrote major works a) Economy of Permanence, b) Why the Village Movement c) Practice and Precepts of Jesus d ) Public Finance and Our Poverty He was editor of Young India in absence of Gandhiji (when he was arrested in 1930’s) for 2 years and Editor of “Gramogyog Patrika” ( Journal of Village Industries ) for 20 years. His major role in setting up All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA) and being its secretary till Gandhiji death and Secretary of Bihar Earth Quake Relief Committee speaks volumes about his organising capabilities.

His thoughts on Economics are Futuristic and People oriented. Some of the concepts we can relate him to are Sustainable Development, Small is Beautiful, Limits to Growth, Welfare State etc

He lived in Wardha for more than 3 decades and breathed his last in Tamil Nadu in 1960.

After his death few scholarly volumes have been brought out by different authors from different perspectives. These are:

  • Back to Basics – A JC Kumarappa Reader ( by P. Bandhu)
  • JC Kumarappa – Mahatama Gandhi Economist ( by Mark Lindley )
  • The Web of Freedom – JC Kumarappa and Gandhi’s Struggle for Economic Justice ( by Govindu Malghan )

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