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

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Diarchy in Higher Education

homes through co-operative endeavour. The result was that on the one hand the houses were built at record speed and most economically, and on the other hand thousands of refugees learnt new vocations which have sustained them since. It is difficult to imagine how that population of 50,000 would have learnt to make a living had the decision to engage contractors prevailed. Faridabad thus became another monument to Kamaladevi's foresight and un-erring capacity to reconcile practice with ideology. But her's was not to be a success story all the way. The success of industrial cooperatives (induscos, as they were popularly called) in China led her to develop a network of some twenty co-operative industrial enterprises in Faridabad as part of the rehabilitation programme. Workers actually engaged in production were trained in principles of co-operation and in the art of business management, to be the members and owners of their respective co-operative enterprises. Alas, when the workers were all set to formally take over the enterprises, the government establishment stopped the experiment in its tracks. They argued that the workers were penniless and could not be entrusted with the ownership of factories involving substantial government investment though the investment per factory was scarcely more than Rs 2 lakh. This was a crucial battle which Kamaladevi was to lose despite the support she received from other Faridabad Development Board members such as Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain, Hirdaynath Kunzru, Ashadevi Aryanayakam and Sudhir Ghosh. Finally, she gave up when even Nehru could not make the government change its rigid colonial approach towards co-operatives. The factories were auctioned away to private enterprises; and the workers, who till an hour before were still hoping and longing to become owners, were reduced to wage-earners at the will of the new owners. This was a blow

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