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Seven Social Sins


Seven Social Sins is a list that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi published in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925. Later he gave this same list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper on their final day together shortly before his assassination. The Seven Sins are:

The list was first published by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925. An almost identical list had been published six months earlier in England in a sermon at Westminster Abbey. Gandhi wrote that a correspondent whom he called a "fair friend" had sent the list: "The... fair friend wants readers of Young India to know, if they do not already, the following seven social sins," (the list was then provided). After the list, Gandhi wrote that "Naturally, the friend does not want the readers to know these things merely through the intellect but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them." This was the entirety of Gandhi's commentary on the list when he first published it.

In the decades since its first publication, the list has been widely cited and discussed.

Some books have focused on the seven sins or been structured around them:

Many books have discussed the sins more briefly:

They have also been anthologized:

More recently Mohandas Gandhi's list of negative qualities has also been described by his grandson as "Seven Blunders of the World". Examples of description under this heading include:

Regarding "politics without principle", Gandhi said having politics without truth(s) to justly dictate the action creates chaos, which ultimately leads to violence. Gandhi called these missteps "passive violence," ‘which fuels the active violence of crime, rebellion, and war.’ He said, "We could work 'til doomsday to achieve peace and would get nowhere as long as we ignore passive violence in our world."

Politics is literally defined as, "The struggle in any group for power that will give one or more persons the ability to make decisions for the larger group."

Mohandas Gandhi defined principle as, "the expression of perfection, and as imperfect beings like us cannot practice perfection, we devise every moment limits of its compromise in practice."

There are many different types of regimes in the world whose politics differ. Based on Gandhi’s Blunder Politics without Principle, a regime type might be more of a root of violence than another because one regime has more principle than the other. Regimes have different types of fighting and aggression tactics, each desiring different outcomes.



"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."
  • Taylor, Adam (2010). Mobilizing hope: Faith-inspired activism for a post-civil rights generation. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books. ISBN .  (p. 155 mentions two of the social sins, stating "The recent economic collapse (now referred to as the Great Recession) reminds me of two social sins from Gandhi's famous list of seven deadly social sins. Gandhi warned about the dangers of wealth without work and commerce without morality....")
  • Thomas Weber (2011). "Gandhi's Moral Economics: the Sins of Wealth Without Work and Commerce Without Morality." In: Brown, Judith M.; Anthony Parel (2011). The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 135–153. ISBN . OCLC 646309046.  (page 141 lists the sins and their date of publication, stating that "These and many of Gandhi's own writings make it quite clear that the Mahatma did not compartmentalize his life. For him, economics together with politics, morality and religion formed an indivisible whole.")
  • Rana P. B. Singh (2006). "Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi." In: Simon, David (Ed.) (2006). Fifty key thinkers on development. London: Routledge. pp. 106–110. ISBN . OCLC 68710779.  (p. 107 listed the sins and gave a 2 or 3 sentence explanation of each, stating "these are ideals, but they are more relevant in the present era of desperation and could easily be accepted.")
  • Brad Knickerbocker (February 1, 1995). "Gandhi grandson pursues peace main sidebar". Christian Science Monitor. p. 14. ISSN 0882-7729.  External link in |title= (help) (profile of Arun Gandhi that gives a list entitled "Mohandas Gandhi's 'Seven Blunders of the World,'" and states that "The last time Arun saw his grandfather, the old man slipped the boy a piece of paper with a list of what have come to be known as Gandhi's 'Seven Blunders of the World' that lead to violence." It also states that Arun Gandhi "would make 'Rights without responsibilities' No. 8 on his grandfather's list of 'blunders.'")
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