In the 21st century continuous modernization and development are seen as critical to world progress, India's recently elected Prime Mister Narendra Modi stated that his governments vision for India focused on development1. However the father of the Indian nation Mahatma Gandhi's views on modernity and especially modern civilization, are extremely intriguing. Although many world leaders today view growth and modernization as imperative to the advancement of the human race, some view it as harmful to cultural and spiritual awareness and a step towards a materialistic lifestyle and world. Gandhi, as stated in Anthony J. Parel's book, 'Hind Swaraj' and Other Writings, was one of the people that believed the latter. Gandhi voiced his apprehension towards the modern civilization in Hind Swaraj's fifth edition published in 1922. He said, "This booklet is a severe condemnation of 'modern civilization"2. His views on this topic have been a matter of debate since the days before India's independence. Historians such as A.K Sen view Gandhi as a human who feared growth and believed he was an extreme conservative3. Others such as Edward Carpenter do not. In his book Civilization: it's Cause and Cure he labels modern civilization as a disease4, this view seems to be on a similar wavelength to Gandhi's. With the use of various scholars, such as Sen and Carpenter, I wish to establish and investigate how and why Gandhi compared modern civilization to a 'disease' and touch upon the views of authors and historians in an attempt to prove their theory. .
Gandhi disagreed with various aspects of 'modern civilization', the political and judicial system, the creation and use of railways, professions such as lawyers and doctors and even modern day religious practices. He was against the industrialization of India, he believed that industrialization gave birth to "material advancement without limit"5.