Criticism against Gandhism are as follows:
1. Little Originality in Gandhism:
Critics hold that Gandhism lacks originality. It simply restates the old principles in a new form. It is a mixture of different religions and ideas of different philosophers and scholars. It incorporates the principles of individualism, anarchism, liberalism, socialism and communism. It offers no new philosophy or ideology.
2. Several Philosophical Contradictions:
Critics point out that Gandhian philosophy is full of contradictions. Like socialism, Gandhism supports the idea that every individual should be provided necessities of daily life. But at the same time, it opposes the socialist principles of nationalisation and mass production. Like communism, it condemns capitalism, but at the same time it is not in the favour of ending it. Like anarchism, it considers state as an evil, but at the same time it is not in favour of abolishing it.
3. Man is not all good:
According to Gandhism, man by nature is very good. He has the inherent power for the full development of his life. The possibilities of development are the same in every person. But this picture of man is far from reality. Man by nature is social as well as selfish. He is mostly a self-centered person. He cooperates with others to the extent his own interests get promoted. At times, he does not refrain from harming others for his self-interests.
4. Non-violence has its limitations:
The key principle of Gandhism is non-violence. It emphasizes the use of peaceful and non-violent means for the attainment of goals. However, in this world of dominance and struggle for power, it is very difficult to achieve success only through non-violence. All men are not saints. It is impraticable to face brute force with moral force. It is impracticable for a state and its government to be non-violent, when other states are getting armed to wage a war.
5. The method of Satyagraha is very difficult:
Gandhism advocates the use of Satyagraha for facing evil, injustice and tyranny. However, it is very difficult to make a proper use of this ‘weapon’. A Satygrahi is required to have high quality of moral force. Such men are rarely found. Gandhiji himself admitted that Satyagraha is a dangerous weapon and it should be used very cautiously.
6. Gandhian Economy cannot work in practice:
It is difficult to give a practical shape to Gandhian economics in modern states. Payment of tax by doing labour is theoretically a good principle but it cannot be given a practical shape. The principle of trusteeship property is morally sound. At the same time it is idealistic and Utopian.
There is little chance that the capitalists can really come forward to use their private property for public welfare. It is just a dream. In the modem age of science, machine and technology, it is very difficult for village and cottage industries to compete with modern industries.
7. Gandhism Favours Capitalism:
Communists allege that Gandhism supports capitalistism. It rejects the principles of class struggle and nationalization. It wrongly advocates that the capitalists and workers can work together with co-operation and good-will. It wrongly considers capitalists as the trustees of social property. All these ideas are in the interest of capitalists and against the workers.
The communists hold that the interests of capitalists and workers are always opposed to each other. The capitalists always want to earn more profit and naturally they always pay less wages to the workers. Capitalism is a system of exploitation of labour. Workers demand for more wages always means less profit for the capitalists.
8. Religion and Politics are different:
Gandhism considers religion and politics as very near and related. For elevating politics, Gandhiji advocated spiritualisation of politics. But the meaning of religion which Gandhiji understood is beyond the comprehension of a common man. The notion of an ordinary man regarding religion is very narrow.
Critics point out that religion is a personal affair and it is concerned with the conscience of the individual where as Politics is a public affair and it has no relationship with morality. The interference of religion in politics can give birth to religion-mixed politics of middle ages.
9. Gandhism is Utopian:
Critics point out that Gandhism is a Utopian philosophy. The ideal state—the Ram Rajya which Gandhism visualises cannot be established on this earth. It can exist only in heaven. Stateless democracy is an emotional idea. For the state to be a non-violent agency is an idea away from reality. It is impossible for the military and the police to be non-violent. Political problems cannot be solved only on the basis of morality.