Devi, S. Umi. “Care and freedom”. Berkeley Center for Working Families Occasional Paper, Berkeley, CA: Center for Working Families, University of California, Berkeley, 2000. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/4083.
This paper first summarizes the debate between the development enthusiasts and the development skeptics in the fields of human development and development ethics. Development enthusiasts consider development as freedom, but for the skeptics it is a form of coercion. I differentiate two types of freedom: external and internal. Freedom to and freedom from (the former classified as positive and the latter as negative) both refer to the external domain. The literature on deve lopment so far deals only with the external concept of freedom. I classify development theory, based on this concept of freedom, as type I and discuss the limitations of such an approach to development by re-examining the case of the Rajasthani widow much discussed in the development literature. I draw upon experience of the West with this type of development to highlight the problems faced there. I enumerate the ill effects of the pursuit of external freedom in the form of competitive individualism (ignoring the strengths of a selftranscending, care-oriented way of being and raising children), which forms the basis for type I development in order to issue a word of caution before proceeding with this approach in the case of India and other Third World countries. Finally, I present the alternative concept of freedom, viz., the search for inner freedom based on the advaitic philosophy in India. Drawing upon the work of culture theorists, I contrast the familial self in India based on this conception of freedom with the individual self of the West. In India the practices of child care have evolved from this concept of freedom and self. Using this notion of freedom, I lay out the framework for type II development, concluding that it will not be possible to work for type II development if we continue with the corporate form of production guided by the profit motive, advertisements, and a wasteful use of resources. Hence the focus of the development debate should shift from culture to the system of production. The East will have to join forces with the movements in the West working for a new work system, as opposed to the "job work" that prevails today.