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Home arrow News arrow News Snippet arrow His Majesty the King's Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and Mahatma Gandhi's Self-Sufficiency Ideas
His Majesty the King's Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and Mahatma Gandhi's Self-Sufficiency Ideas Print E-mail
January 22, 2008
by Prof. Dr. Sophana Srichampa

In the realm of ideas for better humanity, the uniqueness of Mahatma Gandhi is known worldwide. An apostle of non-violence and Satyagraha, Gandhi was a distinguished human character which transcends all ages and geographical boundaries. With a mind for the overall growth of nation’s economy where people hold the ageless values of culture and selfless practices without seeking material gains as the main goal of life, he advocated the betterment of human life. For this, Gandhi had a revolutionary idea of self sufficiency without depending upon ‘others’; where the majority (rural population) does not get neglected, and the country becomes a novel case of self growth without over harnessing both soul and soil greedily.

No less remarkable has been happening in this part of the world. Thailand has been extremely blessed with the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy (PSE) initiated by His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej. With the gracious delivery of the Royal Speech in December 1997, he opened a new vista of self reliance and sufficiency which was badly needed by the Thai society, thanks to the 1997 economic crisis.  He called upon Thai people at all levels, ranging from families, communities, and nations, to learn about a balanced way of living or the middle path as an appropriate conduct in various aspects of life. It aims to help people better meet the challenges arising from globalization and to achieve sustainable development. Having quoted the fundamentals of Buddhism, H.M. the King ushered in a new era of Gross Happiness.

Thailand under His Majesty’s guidance is applying the notion with an aim to create balance and sustainability in its economic system in various aspects of agriculture, community empowerment, poverty reduction, sustainability in economic growth and competitiveness.

This shows the great similarity in approaches of the two persons: Mahatma Gandhi and His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej.  Gandhi’s notion on rural upliftment and all round support to agriculture is well matched by His Majesty’s committed efforts reflected in Khao Hin Sorn Royal Project (to integrated farming plots combining cultivations of fish, rice, and vegetables for household consumption and income generation) and Puparn Royal Development Programme (Sakon Nakhon, northeastern Thailand). What Gandhi said about saving the environment ("The earth has enough resources for our need, but not for our greed") is very much echoed in H.M. King’s vision too. One single example is the Huai Hong Khrai Royal Project (Chiang Mai) where the natives learn about rehabilitation of watershed forests and sustainable utilization of forests in three different methods of irrigation system, check dam system, and rain water usage. If we compare the two leaders of masses, we find striking similarity in approaches.
Mahidol University

There can be no other right moment to spread the message of the Mahatma and His Majesty than this current year. While, India is celebrating the centenary of the first Gandhian seeds of Satyagraha, Thailand too is in festive moods on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s 80th birth anniversary. Therefore, the ILCRD, Mahidol University in collaboration with the Indian Embassy is hosting a one day Seminar at its campus on February 4, 2008

1.Plenary Address by Mahatma Gandhiji’s ‘adopted son’, Mr. Narayan Desai (from India)
2.Plenary Address by Associate Prof. Dr. Seri Phongphit (Director of the Community Enterprise Institute and LIFE University Project)
3.An exhibition on rural development based upon the ideas of His Majesty the King and Gandhi
4.The screening of the video clips/footage of Gandhi’s speeches

All are cordially invited to be a part of this special seminar. More details are here .

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