From: firstname.lastname@example.org (M. Jagadesh Kumar)
Subject: Restructuring India's Economy: The Swadeshi Way (2/4)
Organization: University of Waterloo
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 1994 22:32:02 GMT
Restructuring India's Economy: The Swadeshi Way (part 2/4)
It came after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Crores were
looted from India. And soon afterwards, in 1760, the different
inventions that were lying dormant began to take shape.
In 1760 the 'flying shuttle' appeared and coal replaced wood
in smelting. In 1764 the Spinning Jenny was invented. In 1768 the
Watt steam engine took shape: In 1785 the power loom was invent-
ed. Every year the country was looted to the tune of Rs.
25 crores, on an average. This continued from 1757 right upto
1815, the year of the Battle of Waterloo. It was this continu-
ous drain which fuelled the industrial revolution of England.
Upto the middle of 19th century, machines did not become the
center of the production processes in England. And even after the
"industrial revolution," the goods produced there were of such
low quality that they could not stand in competition with
Indian goods which were not only highly sophisticated but were
dominating the world markets.
In the fields of textiles, steel and agricultural products we
had sophisticated technologies. There was a craze for Indian tex-
tile goods so much so that in 1800, Britain had to put a
'ban' on Indian textiles. But it was smuggled in. In 1875 in
Edinborough a patriotic association was formed and it asked
the people to boycott those ladies who were "depraved enough to
wear Indian fabrics."
As far as the Indian technology aspect was concerned it was
sophisticated, though it was decentralised. Whenever we think of
technology, we think of big machines. Strangely, Britishers
dubbed ours as primitive technology. But it was sophisticated to
an extent that cannot be reached even today. We could produce a
yarn of 2,425 counts. But today we cannot produce a yarn of more
than 250 counts.
Similarly we could prepare furnaces to produce steel at a to-
tal cost of Rs. 300. These could be carried on two shoulders to
anywhere in the countryside and could be set up on a river-
side to start smelting. The steel that was produced was of high
quality, costing only Rs. 50 per tonne. Whereas the steel pro-
duced then in England manufactured by the "Industrial process"
cost Rs. 250 per tonne.
It was the same story in agriculture too. We did have
a sophisticated technology. When the Britishers found that they
could not compete with Indian goods they ultimately decided to
crush the Indian industries and did so. This was a painful
chapter of our history.
Now the same attempts are being made to make India a market
for the finished products of the affluent countries. When we be-
came Independent we chose the path of the industrial revolution,
but did not have the capital for that. Then these affluent,
developed countries said "We shall provide the money". And they
gave us loans in the form of aid. It is sapping all our morale,
and self reliance.
The truth behind international funds
They want to make us only a supplier of raw materials and a
market for their products. We took those loans in the hope that
we shall be able to repay them. But the loans could not be
repaid, and they went on multiplying. Now we are in a debt trap,
where we must get more loans to repay the debt. And this is not
the case with our country alone. It is the same with all those
countries which still have some stocks of natural resources.
Countries in South America and Asia have still some natural
resources. In order to grab those natural resources for their own
resource intensive production processes, the affluent countries
laid the trap of this "Economic Imperialism." And the agency for
this are the multilateral financial agencies - the World Bank and
the I.M .F.
Bush Neil, Deputy Director for developing countries told a
sub committee of foreign operations of the US Senate as far back
as March 1976: "From the U.S. national point of view, these banks
encourage development along lines compatible with our own econo-
my. Our participation in the international development banks will
provide more assured access to essential raw materials and better
climate for U.S. investment in the developing world". The objec-
tive is quite clear.
Another Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Economic and
Business Affairs Mr. Johnston J. testified before the U.S.
Congress: "Every dollar we pay into the multilateral development
banks generates about 3 dollars of business for U.S. firms".
These American companies are entering our market in a big way
under the liberalisation policy enunciated by our Government and
that too under U.S. pressure. We are also now experiencing some
arm twisting being resorted to by the U.S.
[To be concluded]
(As a part of VIGIL's eleventh anniversary celebrations,
Sri K. S. Sudershan, a senior All India leader of RSS delivered
the above lecture at Madras. Sri Nikhil Chakravarthy, an eminent
journalist delivered the Presidential address)