Skip to comments.Gandhi and India's economy
Posted on 01/25/2012 8:44:36 AM PST by yinandyang
They also fail to understand Gandhi's rationale for spinning his own cloth, and why he advised others to do the same. Mohandas Gandhi appreciated that importing cloth from England to India only helped the factories in the UK and hurt tax payers in India. By spinning his own clothes, he hurt England where it mattered - in the pocket. Similarly, Mr. Kyle fails to understand Gandhi's brilliance in the Dandi salt march. The English taxed salt, and by making his own salt, Gandhi was revolting against taxation without representation. He was also freeing the poor in India from the English tax. On both these points, Gandhi was correct. If only Gandhi had stopped there, it would have been great. But he didn't - refining his ideology to reflect what could be called the "cottage industry" model. In essence, everyone would be self reliant. Thus, a person would grow their own crops, make their own clothes, etc. This is in direct contrast with modern economic theories that theorizes that the most efficient should specialize in that field. Can you imagine what a waste of time it would have been for Steve Jobs to spin his own cloth? Would Apple have been as prized a company today if the developers there grew their own food and milked their own cows?
(Excerpt) Read more at voices.yahoo.com ...
Actually Gandhi’s Congress Party (and it’s successor New Congress Party) took the country in a Socialist direction.
It was not until a Hindu nationalist party took over in the mid-90’s that they really started to move towards the free market model.
As one of my Indian friends told me, “The Pakistanis did not worry about us much back when India was a Socialist country with a 2% annual economic growth rate and a 3% annual population growth rate”.
‘Actually Gandhis Congress Party (and its successor New Congress Party) took the country in a Socialist direction.”
Guess you did not read the article - the article does state that.
“It was not until a Hindu nationalist party took over in the mid-90s that they really started to move towards the free market model.”
Not what the article says. Do you have literature to support your contention?
The Congress Party's socialism actually came from their first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and not from Gandhi. Gandhi was not a socialist. He was a capitalist, but advocated some form of village level self-sufficiency. He also did not advocate pushing his ideas using the government.
Gandhi actually often mocked at the socialists and communists. In fact he was very much against exorbitant government taxation. His whole civil disobedience movement (of not paying taxes, producing their own clothes and salt march) was aimed at bypassing the government protected British industries so Indian villages can create their own economic model independent of the government.
Secondly it wasn't the Hindu nationalists who moved India to free market. It was the Congress party which did it. The current Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh who was then the Finance Minister is credited at the architect of the modern Indian economy who first took India towards economic liberalization. As thus he has been elected for second term to serve as the current Prime Minister of India.
As for what your friend told you...... dont forget... of the four war that Pakistan lost against India, 3 were fought at the time of Nehru-Gandhi socialist era. Pakistan was handed their worst defeat and was dismembered in 1971 (inspite of American, Chinese and Arab military backing) at the peak of Indian socialism under Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi gave India nukes in 1974. And this woman knew how to take on terrorists both Kashmiri and Sikh.
In contrast the so-called "Hindu nationalist" sat on their ass and buckled under US pressure when Pakistan attacked Kargill (India), hijacked a place to Kandhar and after that attacked the Indian parliament.
I for one wont diss Gandhi and Congress quickly.
You make several good but debatable points.
I did not know Gandhi mocked socialists. Wonder why he picked Nehru as his golden boy, since the latter was very much a socialist. Your comment?
You are right about Congress moving India to free market, but only after they were pushed to the wall.
Agree with you about the “Hindu nationalists” - from what I have read, they are milquetoast, but then my knowledge base in this regard is not the greatest.
Singh is a socialist who has imposed job creating schemes and run up a huge debt after he took power. India's economy has been slipping in the past 5 years. I've been to India in the 90s and it was all talk back then. I recall it was all about implementing IMF policies at that time and India was in a rut. I recall seeing a lot of poverty. Singh worked under another guy who was the leader and who wanted free market in his country, but that did not happen due to the rest of his Congress Party who are all socialists. They threw out the free market guy in the 1990s and reverted to socialism.
Later when the Hindu nationalists came to power, they opened up the markets and the boom took place. I know this because I had to visit India once again during this period.
Nehru didnt start off as a socialist. He was a soft core Fabian socialist influenced by Britain. It was in the later stages (post independence) that Nehru became very influenced by the success of Soviet Union and wanted to emulate some of their policies. But even then he vehemently opposed to the Communist party of India. they were his major opposition.
Why Gandhi picked him? Nehru was young a charismatic leader who was very influenced by Gandhian policy and he had immense popularity. Lets understand one thing, Gandhi and Nehru were not opposed to socialism but at the same time they didn't have an absolute ideological affinity to it. Their first objective was to free India, prevent chaos-disintegration, build stable government and political system. Socialism or capitalism wasn't the first thing on their minds. Nehru and Gandhi had several ideological disagreements, in fact towards the end they actually had a fallout. Nehru was an ardent believer of building of a modern westernized industrial economy. Gandhi was opposed to industrialization and wanted to focus efforts on building rural economy. India's economic success/failures basically epitomizes the struggle between these two opposing view points.
India started opening up its economy in the mid-late 80s with relaxation in technology import norms and some custom duties. Almost a decade before the BJP came to power. On an even keel, the BJP is more investment friendly than the Congress, but not by much; there is no such thing as a genuine business-friendly party in India. All practise a mix of cronyism and populism.
I don’t think Gandhi ever picked Nehru to be his successor in the decisive sense-he in fact wanted to disband the Congress party on Independence. Gandhi encouraged a broad field of leaders of all hues-including C Rajagopalachari (free-market believer), Sardar Patel (right-leaning conservative) and of course the left-leaning Nehru. Patel and Nehru were in a sense, like your nickname-Yin and Yang.
The tragedy was Patel’s death in 1950 left Nehru without a capable rival who had similar popular backing and administrative and political ability.
I am sorry but you are very wrong. And visiting India means nothing at all if you are wrong. I have lived in India for over 15 years.
They threw out the free market guy? ....What “free market guy”? Manmohan Singh wasn't appointed to the cabinet until 1991. The fiscal deficit was close to 10% of GDP when he first took charge as Finance minister, and India was already in IMF debt trap. It was Singh who first dismantled license raj, started privatization and instituted policies to attract foreign direct investment without any bureaucratic obstacles. The next Hindu nationalist government carried forward the same policies but they didn't start it.
If you have better information then please name the “Hindu nationalist” who in your opinion initiated India's economic liberalization. Yes Singh was a socialist. He was old school socialist with a Doctorate in Economics from the best known school of economic in all of British Empire. Up until he became the Finance minister of India in 1991 most of his policies were very socialist, but fact is when he became the Finance minister he was the first to start India's economic reforms that put India on accelerated growth path. Simple fact.... when he first took charge India's foreign reserves had only US$1 billion, today India has US$300 billion in her foreign reserves.
Beside... name one “Hindu nationalist” who was not a socialist. I challenge you. And I am well aware of Indian politics. BJP and Congress both came from socialist schools.
As for Indian economy slipping in the past 5 years.... yes India's slipped from 9% to 7%.
7 percent growth is still WAY better then current US economy growth....for sure European economic growth and even Chinese economic growth that slipped from 11% to 8%. There is a global slow down and all countries are facing it.
Its pure mindless nonsense to claim that his job creating schemes and ran up a huge debt. We are talking about Singh not Obama. India's external debt is only 23% of the GDP which among the lowest in the world (India has only 41% domestic debt). By contrast US external debt alone is about 102% of her GDP. And Europe blows the lid off the external debt meter.
I think you need to do some serious fact checking.
“he in fact wanted to disband the Congress party on Independence”
At the time of Indian independence, Congress for all practical purposed had dumped Gandhi altogether. And the reins of power were taken over by Nehru and Patel. Towards the end, Gandhi was his own man.....independent of the Congress party.
We should have nothing to do with socialists. Singh also created some job creating scheme. See WSJ report at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903591104576467562817474174.html on how this killed the labor market.
Why do we have apologists for radical socialists on FR?
Having lived all my life in India, I don’t know where you got your ‘facts’ from. If being honest about reality makes me an apologist for socialists, so be it.
At least I don’t hide my Indian roots unlike some other folks.
You are wrong about Nehru. He was ideologically a Marxist and he himself has said so.
Are you talking about P. V. Narasimha Rao? If so then you should know that we wasn't a “Hindu nationalist”. He was India's Prime Minister and very much part of the Congress Party. And Manmohan Singh was his Finance Minister. So if Rao was a free market guy, Singh was the guy who implemented his policies. They were a team. And what do you mean by “they kicked him out” Who kicked him out? They lost the election in 1991.
“And thanks for admitting that Singh is a socialist.”
That's very kind of you but you don't need to thank me. You see, unlike you I actually know what I am talking about.
“You are wrong about Singh not running up a huge debt. In those countries, the standard of life is so bad that the per capita debt imposes a burden worse than the debt here.”
Wow! First you claim India has a “huge” debt....which is absolute nonsense. After you have been proved wrong, you come up with your own Voodoo economics that standard of living actually alters the math and makes a debt much worse. That's amazing.
Btw look who is lending money to IMF...
And look who is giving US$2 Billion to bailout Europe.
“Singh also created some job creating scheme.”
Singh kept Indian economy booming at 9-7% growth rates since 2004 rivaling China's growth rate, while US and European economies are literally going belly up. Since 1991 when Singh first became Finance Minister India had 20% unemployment, today it is down to single digit. I could care less about some half assed American nutcase media viewing Singh’s job creating schemes as “killing labor market”.
“Why do we have apologists for radical socialists on FR?”
I could ask the same question about plain simple idiots on FR.
Yeah since you say so, it must be true.
Singh definitely is a socialist idiot and I do not see why we should ally with socialists. Singh was not in charge of freeing up India's markets. That was done by several cabinet positions. Singh's sole job was to take orders we gave India for saving them through the IMF and pass them on. He messed up and India was a horrible place in 1996 and even early 1999. By 2001, it boomed.
I recall Singh's Congress Party protesting privatization when I was there during the period it boomed. Wikipedia shows that Singh has also allied with the Communist parties. He is pure evil and anti-American.
I think you are talking about yourself. Not only are your facts totally wrong, your mumbojumbo economic theory is very amusing. You posts are proof that you are a complete idiot.
“India has more than $1.1 Trillion in debt. That is huge.”
You know.....I am at a loss. I totally don't understand where you get these bullsh!t figures. Do you produce these figures out of your anus?
India's external debt is US$326 billion dollars not $1.1 trillion.
Dont forget India has an USD$400 billion reserve foreign currency. India can pay off the external debt overnight. These debts are merely a trading of currency assets.....that is switching dollars for rupees or vice versa.
India's GDP is US$1.6 trillion. With 8% annual growth rate India adds US$130 billion each year to the GDP. The US$326 billion debt is really peanuts.
Btw DBRS and S&P actually upgraded India’ credit rating...
Remember S&P? The same S&P that downgraded America's credit rating?
Now what have you got to say? Do you still have more BS to come out of your rear?
“And if you look at the ratio of per capita debt to per capita income,”
Yeah? Tell me about the ratio. India's percapita debt is around US$300 and percapita income is US$1527. US percapita debt is same as US percapita income (US$46884). Do the math, get back to me and tell me who has better ratio.
Yep. Ever notice that you never see ‘Made in India’ on anything at Wal-Mart?
There’s a reason for that.
It is unlawful in India to close an unprofitable factory or to fire a bad worker. This is why India fails miserably compared to China in exports. A foreign investor would be crazy to open a plant in India because of its socialist labor laws.
The exception is that office workers. They are exempt from India’s job-for-life labor laws. That is why India’s exports are all services and brainpower: phone centers, technical support, and software development.
If India fixed its screwed-up labor laws regarding manufacturing it could rival China economically.
What “several cabinet positions”? You got any names? You are so good at throwing lame ass words around that don't mean a thing.
Singh was the most qualified person in the whole cabinet. Unlike the rest of the cabinet, he was an academic not a politician. He was hand picked for the job. Finance ministry is his niche. No one else understood that job better then him.
Between 1996 to 2004 the Congress was not in power. Singh came back to power in 2004..... and this chart will show you how India's economy boomed since 2004.
“Singh definitely is a socialist idiot and I do not see why we should ally with socialists.”
Says the one who lives in the country run by a Marxist. You make me laugh. If Singh’s “socialism” produces 8% growth rate, maybe US could use some of that “socialism”. That is good enough reason to ally if nothing else.
“He is pure evil and anti-American.”
Yes, he is the devil on horse back. Beware of his turban.
“It is unlawful in India to close an unprofitable factory or to fire a bad worker.”
Yeah Thank God US doesn’t have government bailout for unprofitable industries or unionized labor. /s
India is lagging behind China because of lack of infrastructure and tardy bureaucracy then anything else.