Contrary to popular perception, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was not opposed to science and technology, and in the 21st century, the Internet could propel a new form of Gandhian satyagraha.
This, in short, is the hypothesis proposed by politician and author Sudheendra Kulkarni in his book Music of the Spinning Wheel: Mahatma Gandhi's Manifesto for the Internet Age.
Released at the YB Chavan auditorium, Churchgate, on Thursday, the book attempts to understand the nuances of Gandhi’s phrase “music of the spinning wheel”, and posits the Internet as an avatar of the charkha.
“True music is another name for harmony in the universe and in the soul, something Gandhi was always in search of,” Kulkarni said.
Drawing parallels between the spinning wheel and the Internet, Kulkarni suggested the latter could bring about a sea of constructive changes to human life. “The development of the Internet and other technology should be guided by Gandhi’s philosophy of the spinning wheel and of satyagraha,” he said.
“In Gandhi’s time, the charkha was the symbol of revolution and productivity,” said justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, who released Kulkarni’s book along with BJP president Nitin Gadkari, businessman Mukesh Ambani, lyricist Prasoon Joshi and scientist RA Mashelkar. “We need to pair science with non-violence.”
Prasoon Joshi, however, raised questions on whether it was too early to declare the Internet as the right partner to Gandhian thinking. “The Internet has led to a lot of impatience among people using it, so it will have to mature before it can be considered more constructive,” he said.