: सर्वोदय, Gujarati
: સર્વોદય) is a term meaning 'universal uplift' or 'progress of all'. The term was first coined by Mohandas Gandhi
as the title of his 1908 translation of John Ruskin's
tract on political economy, Unto This Last
, and Gandhi came to use the term for the ideal of his own political philosophy.Bondurant, Joan. Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict.
(Princeton, 1958) p 156. Later Gandhians, like the Indian nonviolence
activist Vinoba Bhave
, embraced the term as a name for the social movement in post-independence India
which strove to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all strata of India society.
Origins and Gandhi's political ideal
Gandhi received a copy of Ruskin's Unto This Last
from a British friend, Mr. Henry Polak, while working as a lawyer in South Africa in 1904. In his Autobiography
, Gandhi remembers the twenty-four hour train ride to Durban (from when he first read the book, being so in the grip of Ruskin's ideas that he could not sleep at all: "I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book."Autobiography
, part IV, chapter xviii. As Gandhi construed it, Ruskin's outlook on political-economic life extended from three central tenets:
Four years later, in 1908, Gandhi rendered a paraphrased translation of Ruskin's book into his native tongue of Gujarati
. ... Read More