The Search for a Hindu Agenda-2
A new economic paradigm
By Subramanian Swamy
In my last column [November 20, 2005], I had stated that for India to get her due place in the world order, India must become thoroughly united with a virile mindset, and undergo a renaissance. This would require both acquiring a new vision as well as purging the disabling concepts of the past.
This renaissance has to be holistic: that is, an assertive global political outlook, a national defence preparedness of long reach, an active awareness of the nation'strue continuing history and it'sHindu foundation, rapid economic development of more than 10 per cent growth rate, and unshakeable uncompromising resolve to defend the nation come what may, which five commitments must blend into our national consciousness to create a new mind set dedicated to the goal of recovering India'sglobal pre-eminence in our life time.
That goal, however, can be achieved only by first undoing completely the Nehru legacy. It is a minimum pre-condition because Nehruvian ideas are ill-suited for national synergy.
The Nehru legacy is constituted today by the remnants of socialistic economic policy, a moth-eaten tilted ?non-alignment? foreign policy, a fraudulent one-way secularism, and an apologetic disdain for the quintessence Hindu tradition, all of which are embodied in the vice-like grip on the Congress Party of the rump descendants of the Nehru family. I shall deal with each of these separately in these columns.
Those in the Congress party who had dared to deviate from this legacy [from Shastri onwards and including Rajiv Gandhi] thus came to a terrible end?they died either in mysterious circumstances [e.g., Shastri, Pilot] or after debasement in the party[e.g., Narasimha Rao] that was orchestrated by the legatees. In the case of Rajiv Gandhi, his widow has no shame in striking an electoral alliance and forming a government with those who even today praise the killers of her husband. Such is the debasement of Rajiv Gandhi'smemory, besides the lingering mystery as to why a widow would want to do that. More about that later.
The nation'sexchequer also had huge foreign exchange reserves acquired of course at a high cost, by providing food to British soldiers during the war, because of which millions of Bengalis had to die of starvation in a famine.
The Nehru legacy today has few takers in the younger generation, and is heading towards extinction. But there is no reason why patriots should not hasten it to a decisive end at the earliest. Nehru must therefore be de-bunked and disowned completely for the huge liabilities we have today that he bequeathed to the nation, besides his policy follies that depleted the assets acquired in the Freedom struggle.
Hence, the search for a Hindu Agenda must begin with the exorcism of Nehruism and his legacy to the nation.
The first component of the legacy that needs to be completely disowned and dissembled are the remnants of his socialistic economic policy. Nehru'scommitment to Soviet type socialism was not only disastrous for India'seconomic development but it has vitiated, polluted and corrupted Indian social norms.
In 1947 we, because of a long and arduous freedom struggle, had accumulated a vast reservoir of human capital, a spirit of national service, an inclination to self-help, and simplicity in one'slife style. The nation'sexchequer also had huge foreign exchange reserves acquired of course at a high cost, by providing food to British soldiers during the war, because of which millions of Bengalis had to die of starvation in a famine. Given this human capital endowment and a healthy national consciousness, had we not adopted the Soviet model in 1951, India would have been a developed country today. Nehru betrayed Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, in fact the nation by foisting the totally inappropriate dysfunctional Soviet model on the people.
The Soviet model, in brief, requires the economy to squeeze resources out of agriculture, by nationalising farming, and through unfavourable terms of trade between agriculture and industry [by fixing cheap farm product prices and high prices of industrially produced agricultural inputs], to finance heavy industry. Nehru could not, however, achieve nationalisation of farms because in the 1956 Avadi session of AICC, Charan Singh led an attack on the proposal. Seeing the ground-swell against it, Nehru backed off. The Left never forgave Charan Singh for this defeat, and derided and demeaned him all of his life as a ?kulak Jat? leader.
But Nehru continued with the policy of further impoverishing agriculture through unfavourable terms of trade and fragmentation of land cultivation through impractical land reforms.
Nehru legacy today has few takers in the younger generation, and is heading towards extinction. But there is no reason why patriots should not hasten it to a decisive end at the earliest.
This was wholly inappropriate because the British had already emasculated Indian agriculture to the bone. Since 1857, the British imperialist had targeted the Indian peasantry because the rural folks had dared to provide money and men for the 1857 Uprising and the First War of Independence. Veer Savarkar has written brilliantly on this. The imperialists after crushing the uprising, appointed stooge Indians who became zamindars and were empowered to extract any amount from the peasantry provided a fixed amount was given to their British masters to run their brigand establishment called British Indian government. Thus, the peasantry went into dire poverty with unbearable debt from generation to the next. What therefore was appropriate for India after Independence was in giving priority to agricultural investment and infrastructure thereby re-vitalise a thoroughly emaciated farm sector. Nehru just neglected agriculture.
No wonder then, because of the Soviet model of planning India soon had a terrible food crisis in 1965-67 and had to accept humiliating handouts from the US to prevent a famine. The Soviet Union of course, had no foodgrains to spare for us!
When the crisis came Nehru was dead and gone, and between 1964 and 1969, a ?syndicate? of Morarji, Patil, Kamaraj and Atulya Ghosh could dilute the Soviet model, and allow technocrats such as C.Subramaniam and M. S. Swaminathan to seek better farming techniques from research centres in the West which led to the Green Revolution. Alarmed by the shift and the result, the Soviet lobby in India financed by the KGB, engineered a split in Congress party and vested Mrs Indira Gandhi with enormous power, the consequences of which is seen today in our enfeebled democracy. Ms. Gandhi during 1970-76 moved the economic system deep into the Soviet fold by a series of nationalisations and controls. This not only set us back further growth-wise but it distorted investment priorities even more. Because investment and imports were licensed and allotted on political discretion, hence a huge black market developed that generated cash for those close to the Congress Party. That is the root and source of today'sintolerable corruption. As Mitrokhin in his Archives suggests, India went on sale.
If we look around the globe we can see that whichever country had adopted the Soviet model, that country came to grief. If West Germany and East Germany are compared, which are of the same people, the same history, and destroyed in World War II equally and then divided, we find that while West Germany became a developed country in two decades, East Germany remained poor. The difference ? The West Germany adopted the competitive market economic system, while the East adopted the Soviet model of development.
The same is true of North and South Korea, or China before 1980 and Japan. In fact, China and India started to accelerate their growth rates only after economic reforms were introduced, and Soviet system dismantled. And of course, the Soviet model failed the Soviet Union itself, and caused it'sdisintegration into 16 separate nations !
Does debunking the Soviet model mean an inevitable acceptance of transition to an American style free enterprise? Of course not ! This is Communist propaganda to hide their shame from the collapse of the Soviet system. We must design an economic model that suits our endowments within a framework of maximum opportunity for the Indian people to find expression of their talents in the economic system. What that system is I shall cover in my next column.