Friday, May 8, 2015

Gandhi, Cities and Salman...

Where there is machinery, there are large cities; and where there are large cities, there are tram-cars and railways; and there only does one see electric light. Honest physicians will tell you that where means of artificial locomotion (mainly personal motor transport vehicle) have increased, the health of the people has suffered.I cannot recall a single good point in connection with machinery. If the machinery craze grows in our country, it will become an unhappy land (1908)

The half a dozen modern cities are an excrescence and serve at the present moment the evil purpose of draining the life-blood of the villages. The cities with their insolent torts are a constant menace to the life and liberty of the villagers. (17-3-1927)

We may not be deceived by the wealth to be seen in the cities of India. It comes from the blood of the poorest. (30-6-1934)

This displacement of village labour is impoverishing the villagers and enriching the moneyed men. If the process continues sufficiently long, the villagers will be destroyed without any further effort. No Chengis Khan could devise a more ingenious or more profitable method of destroying these villages. (20-6-1936)

A nonviolent system of government is clearly impossibility so long as the wide gulf between the rich and the hungry millions persists. The contrast between the palaces of New Delhi and the miserable hovels of the poor labouring class nearby cannot last one day in a free India in which the poor will enjoy the same power as the richest in the land. A violent and bloody revolution is a certainty one day unless there is a voluntary abdication of riches and the power that riches give and sharing them for the common good.

Indian villages produced and supplied to the Indian towns and cities all their wants. India became impoverished when our cities became foreign markets and began to drain the villages dry by dumping cheap and shoddy goods from foreign lands. (27-2-1937)

Our country was never so unhappy and miserable as it is at present. In the cities people may be getting big profits and good wages but all that has become possible by sucking the blood of the villages. It is the city man who is responsible for war all over the world, never the villager. (6-12-1944)

I regard the growth of cities as an evil thing, unfortunate for mankind and the world, unfortunate for England and certainly unfortunate for India. The British have exploited India through its cities. The latter have exploited the villages. The blood of the villages is the cement with which the edifice of the cities is built. I want the blood that is today inflating the arteries of the cities to run once again in the blood vessels of the villages. (23-6-1946)

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