Comprehensive analysis of Bentham’s Utilitarianism & Concept of Sarvodaya

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Dr. Gaurav Agarwal, Dr. Mamta Pareek


This research paper is providing a comprehensive & comparative study of Utilitarianism & Sarvodaya. Both the ideologies establish as democratic ideologies but there is a big difference between democratic parameters and characteristics of utilitarianism. We found utilitarianism is not a core democratic ideology as this does not follow the very core principles of the common good and the equality of democracy.  Comparatively, Sarvodaya is based on equality. Sarvodaya seems to have the welfare of all means as it is basically rooted in Sanskrit term Sarv and Udaya with ‘Gun Sandhi’, which stands for uplift or welfare for all. It shows its bonding with the pure democratic characteristics widely accepted. The founder of utilitarianism is Jeremy Bentham and his brilliant student John Stuart Mill amended and updated this theory. The beginning utilitarianism was initially not related to social morality, but later on, amendments established its relations with social morality. The basic concept of utilitarianism stands for a high level of happiness and pleasure as Bentham believes that human nature is derived only by pleasure and pain. But, here it does not force to distribute this happiness and pleasure equally to everyone. The basic idea here goes with ‘maximum pleasure for maximum people’. If we want to understand the instruments of this maximum pleasure, utilitarianism goes with the result or the consequences of an act rather than the instruments or the good or bad ways it is achieved, so this emphasises end over means. Sarvodaya here means upliftment of all classes of society, And on a bigger scale, it refers to Universal upliftment or progress. It is originally a Upanishadic Idea of ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah:’ means all sentients being happy and at peace. The Sarvodaya term was first coined by Mahatma Gandhi After reading Ruskin Bond’s ‘unto this last’. After that, it was highlighted as Gandhian socialism. After this Gandhi used this term for his political-philosophical ideas.  Later many Gandhian thinkers like Vinoba Bhave, Jai Prakash Narayan embraced “Sarvodya” as a name of Social Movement in Post Independent India. Utilitarianism and Sarvodaya both ideas are emphasising  the pleasure/upliftment of humans. But according to comprehensive analysis utilitarianism has an emphasis on the happiness of Maximum numbers, whether Sarvodaya’s object is to work for every person’s happiness in the society.


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