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

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Operation Flood: Setting the Record Straight

I am happy to set the record straight, regarding the note from B S Baviskar and Shanti George (“Operation Flood: Reviving Debates”, 29 January 2011). Future editions of my book India’s White Revolution will record Shanti George’s denial of an apology to Verghese Kurien. Personally, I have no argument with Baviskar and George, whose work, along with that of Martin Doornbos and the Dutch School, has contributed so much to policy debate.

But readers will also want to know my book presents a positive picture of Kurien and Operation Flood, 1970-96. With Kurien’s leadership, the National Dairy Development Board and cooperatives such as Amul tamed the “Trojan horses” (Operation Flood (1985) by Shanti George, p 249) from Europe’s surplus butter mountains and milk lakes. Their monetisation of European Economic Community commodity aid into infrastructure enabled India to secure its dairy autonomy, surpassing the United States as the world’s top producer. Food and Organisation data (un available to many previous books) show per capita consumption nearly doubled and aid dwindled in a time of rapid population growth.

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