ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

A Useful Guide

A Useful Guide Paritosh Banerjee Indian Economy: Yesterday and Today by V B Singh, New Delhi,
THIS is the second, revised and enlargthe luxurious mode of living of the feued edition of the book which was oridatory, requiring hugeamounts of reginally based on the author's lectures venue; the general state of prosperity, at the University of Warsaw in the auinterspeised with famines, which distumn of 1959, In the present edition rupted the old structure and the growth the author has brought the account of usury which, in turn, helped the up to the economic policy resolution of dissolution of the economic organisathe Congress(R) passed at its Bombay tion. These endogenous factors were Session in December 1969. The purnot at all conducive to economic devepose of this volume, as Singh mentions lopment; and "British Rule as an exoat the outset, is to describe and analyse genous factor, accelerated the process" the "evolution of India as an underdeof disintegration. So, surely, the author's veloped country and her post-Indepenearlier contention that, the country dence attempt to develop..." (p 1). would have developed had there not The author is fully conscious that the been British rule, demands a more theme is too vast for a book consisting thorough analysis. of five chapters and four appendices. The second chapter depicts the ecoHe, therefore, tries to be selective in nomic stagnation of India under the the problems discussed. The analysis Crown, the growth of British interests of the problems is short but lucid. through investments, the origin of moUsing the Marxist theory of development dern large-scale production during the as the model, the author tries to anainter- War period, and the growth and lyse the evolution of the Indian econosuccess of nationalism. The purpose of my within that framework. This proves British investment was not to develop to be an asset as well as a shortcoming the economy by creating backward and of the volume. forward linkage effects but to facilitate and stabilise the ruthless plunder of The book begins with a discussion India. Thus the factors responsible for of the British rule and the consequent the development of railways were; po plunder of India, the gradual and litical subjugation of India with the steady change in the pattern and struchelp of British army; the necessary ture of the economy and the disintegramovement of Indian foodstuffs and raw tion and dissolution of agriculture, cotmaterials to the ports to be shipped to tage and large-scale (relatively) indusEngland; creation of an extensive mar tries. About the effect of British rule ket for British manufactures; and the on India, the author believes that, need to have a certain guaranteed rate " . . left to herself, India (like other of profit for British investors. Similarly, underdeveloped countries) would have British investments in plantations in due course followed the path of inexploited the cheap labour by paying dustrialisation with all its implications alarmingly low wages. The chapter and the present state of underdevelopends with a good description of sterling ment has been imposed on her by imbalances and the origin of planning in perialism" (p 8). The author considers India. Those who do not have the time British rule to have been an exogenous and inclination to read the heavier work cause of underdevelopment of the on this produced by R C Dutta and R country, and in support gives a vivid P Dutt, will get a good glimpse of description of the nature, origin and these subjects in this chapter.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top