Posted by: tanujit | August 26, 2007

Of India !!

Being a “Indian” is in many ways a irony in itself. On one hand we have many things to be proud of, the enormous history that we have behind ourselves and the way we are the best mixed bag of religions, cultures, languages and god know what, yet we have been this way for the millions of years….and then are some things that “I” as young Indian think about….could we have done it differently….could we have achieved more than what we have done for ourselves.

At 60 years of “independence”, which is also a cliche in itself, are we really independent.This article by Ashok Desai in the Telegraph has many things to say. Read it here.

Excerpts

The country was also chronically short of foodgrains. It was basically due to the fact that World War II had expanded urban employment and purchasing power, and that the urban demand for food exceeded supply from domestic agriculture. There was no international foodgrain market to fall back on. Only the US had a large enough surplus of wheat. After India turned down in 1950 the invitation of John Foster Dulles, Truman’s secretary of state, to join a South-east Asia Treaty Organization, one of America’s military alliances to contain the Soviet Union, it was no longer close to the US. Still, the US wheat surplus was so large that it gifted large quantities of it to India throughout the Fifties and Sixties. It was only after the Green Revolution, which began in the late Sixties, that the assistance under PL-480 was dispensed with. It is likely that a Patel government would have taken recourse to PL-480, although it might have increased domestic agricultural production more by leaving agriculture freer to market incentives. India might, for instance, have produced more cotton — that would have helped the textile industry, which then was large and competitive.

The whole article make me think, why did we fall into this license raj mess and the concept of government owned PSU, who did nothing much for the public in general, just overmanned unaccountable corporations who just sucked the juice out of the countries economy.

Just if the politicians that we idolize so much, but why didn’t we question them at that time for these follies… yes they are true sons of the soil and we cannot forget what they did for the country, for its freedom and giving us the life..we owe that to them. But the policies why didn’t we question them on that….why did we blindly follow them !!

Guess this line puts is very straight forward.

China made use of its labour to become the frontrunner in industrialization in the Nineties; India could have become the frontrunner in the Sixties. It would have run ahead of those little nations — South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia — which left it behind. In particular, it would have led the world in textiles. Textiles came in the Sixties to be dominated by synthetic fibres; and synthetic fibres became a major branch of petrochemicals. Japan came to dominate this industry; it could have been India instead.

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