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

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Nationalisation by Default

The Case of Coal in India

The nationalisation of the Indian coal industry was neither a well-planned nor a conscious socialist act of government policy. It was at best an act of crisis management. It was forced on the government by an industrial collapse resulting largely from government policies themselves. Post-nationalisation industrial development can hardly be said to have justified the social aims of nationalisation. Besides, nationalisation does not amount to socialism. The measure has served merely to strengthen the interests of state capitalism as such. It is difficult as yet to state, evidently, whether it has had the effect of serving the interests of the ruling classes in the country.

This paper is being published in two parts. The first part which appeared last week reviewed the performance of the coal industry in the two decades prior to nationalisation. The second part below examines the validity of the official arguments for takeover, and describes and analyses the real causes which lead to the nationalisation of coal. 

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