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Gandhi's Footsteps

Barefoot Mahatma followers undermining capitalism

In the 1940s, Mohandas Gandhi won independence for India by preaching non-violence, economic self-sufficiency and a minimalist lifestyle. However, eighty years later, India is in the midst of a consumer spending boom that appears to render Gandhi’s philosophy obsolete.

Gandhian using a hand-spinning wheel. Still taken from RTD documentary Gandhi's Footsteps.
Gandhi took up hand-spinning and encouraged his fellow Indians to spin their own yarn in order to reconnect with manual labour and break the hold Britain had over India's cotton market.

RTD travels across the subcontinent in search of present-day Gandhians. Each of the Mahatma's disciples tries to follow his example in some way. This might mean running barefoot for miles each day, hand spinning yarn to meet basic clothing needs or harvesting salt as Gandhi did in defiance of the British authorities. These latter-day followers are sure of one thing: if their country is to break free from the yoke of capitalism, Gandhi’s philosophy is needed more than ever.