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Newsgroups: alt.hindu
Path: kumar
From: kumar@caddac1.uwaterloo.ca (M. Jagadesh Kumar)
Subject: Swadeshi: Call for a National Debate (part 3/5)
Message-ID: <CnrDpI.DEu@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca>
Sender: news@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca
Organization: University of Waterloo
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 23:39:18 GMT

>From  "The Illustrated Weekly of India" dated March 28, 1992

        Swadeshi: Call for a National Debate (part 3/5)
                   By Shri. S. Gurumurthy

    Development of agriculture, preservation of rural life and reduced
urbanisation were the corner stones of the swadeshi structure that
Gandhiji had conceived.  The  reverse- greater or complete
urbanisation, greater role for industry and reduced dependence on
agiculture - was the core of the western model which Pandit Nehru
advocated and executed through the socialist route. A great divide
occurred in the Indian mind - between rural India and urban India,
between Bharat and India. The result was that rural India sought
political assertion as the national leadership of free India was as
unrepresentative of Bharat as the Turks and Moghuls were earlier and
as were the Englishmen later. In fact, Nehru had once described
himself to J K Galbraith as the last English prime minister of India.
Unfortunately, the political assertion of rural India threw up Charan
Singhs and Devi Lals.

    Today, we are a bankrupt nation. The Indian government's liabilities
exceed its assets by Rs.24,000 crore! All this happened swiftly
between 1980 and now, but the foundation had been laid for it over a
period of time. Rajiv Gandhi's liberalisation increased the unspecified
items of imports from 12 percent to 24 percent in just one year  in
1985-86. It was a mere two per cent a decade ago. The increase was
entirely due to the screw-driver technology imports that did not add
one bit to the national talent bank.

    Most economists and commentators keep advising us that without
the IMF and the World Bank, the Indian economy would collapse. Let
us look at the facts. We took a loan of $ 5 billion from the IMF on 1981,
but drew only $ 3.7 billion. At that time also, the same warnings were
sounded - no IMF, no India. But a scrutiny of India's foreign exchange-
accounts reveals something startlingly different. For 10 years from
1980, the carpenters, masons and other traditional Indian hands had
pumped $ 26-billion into India from the Middle East. This is over six
times the IMF loan. This is more than the foreign currency the modern
large industries of the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and others could earn
for India in 40 years.

    The story does not end here. A further $16 billion came by way of
deposits from non-resident Indians. This collateral input of $ 42 billion
alone saved India through the '80s, not the IMF. That this major
contribution was criminally wasted on third rate technology and imports
is a different matter: But even today our economists discuss only the
World Bank and the IMF and not our carpenters and masons. These
skilled Indians had no exim scrip or cash assistance for exporting their

						[To be concluded]


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