From: firstname.lastname@example.org (M. Jagadesh Kumar)
Subject: Restructuring India's Economy: The Swadeshi Way (1/4)
Organization: University of Waterloo
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 1994 22:30:55 GMT
Restructuring India's Economy: The Swadeshi Way (part 1/4)
It is 45 years since Independence now. We have been forced to
start a Swadeshi movement again.The response of the public in
general is encouraging. What is the reason for this. People have
come to know that something is wrong with our national economy.
And this has been forcefully brought out by one single incident.
That we had to pledge our gold in order to make up for instalment
of our foreign debt. Even a common villager can understand what
this means. We stand today before this world quite exposed and
devoid of any reputation.
It is in this context that the Swadeshi movement has attract-
ed the attention of the people. When we started on the 15th of
August 1947, we had a favourable balance of Rs. 18,000 crores.
But today we have a debt both external and internal to the tune
of Rs. 4,00,000 crores. What has gone wrong?
Gandhian. Vs Nehruvian
The rise of persons inspired by socialist ideas led by Pandit
Nehru in the Congress movement brought about a qualitative change
in the attitude to the economic problems. Gandhian economic prin-
ciples - integrated approach - were overtaken by the Nehruvian
Here is an example.
On Oct 5, 1945, Mahatma Gandhi wrote a letter to Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru. In that letter Gandhiji wanted to know what
Nehru's ideas were about the development of our country. The
Mahatma asked him to understand that the vast majority of the
country will continue to live in villages and asked Nehru to plan
for development accordingly. Mahatma Gandhi added "the essence
of what I have said, is that man must' be content with what are
his real needs and become self-sufficient. If he does not have
this control he cannot save himself."
But Nehru wrote back, "I read about your ideas in the Hind
Swaraj some 20 years back. I did not believe in them then and to-
day times have so changed that if we take recourse to those ideas
we shall not be able to progress even a bit. He added, "normally
speaking a village is backward both intellectually and culturally
and no progress can be made from a backward environment. Narrow
minded people are much more likely to be untruthful and violent.
We must make the village to approximate more to the culture
of the towns."
And it is no wonder his ideas found place in a 12 point reso-
lution passed by the Congress highcommand in the same year. As a
result, due to this mental make up, practically nothing changed
after independence. Though the control of natural resources was
vested in the Central Government, the colonial institutions that
had been created for national resource management remained the
same. Their purpose had changed. The Britisher's intention in
creating those institutions was to have raw material at a minimum
cost to fuel their resource intensive technologies. And so, they
were fleecing their colonies.
The so-called "industrial revolution"
But now the same institutional concept was nurtured and
developed for another purpose. That of providing the basic needs
to the people. No serious thought was given to the fact that
earlier-industrial development in Western Europe necessitated the
permanent occupation of countries and the undermining of the lo-
cal natural economy. It was for this purpose that those institu-
tions were created. We did not change them because we were very
much enamoured of this "industrial revolution."
We thought that just as the European countries and England
have prospered because of this industrial revolution, we too must
follow that path if we are to prosper. Now this assumption that
England and other European countries became affluent or
prosperous because of this industrial revolution is wrong. As a
matter of fact the industrial revolution required a large
amount of capital. That capital was not available in England upto
1757. Where did it come from? India.
[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)