[Marxism] Economic growth in India

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Apr 29 16:00:31 MDT 2006

Economic Growth in Independent India
Lumbering Elephant or Running Tiger?

The story of economic development in independent India is often distorted 
by beliefs in fashion or caricatures of perceptions which shape 
conventional wisdom. This is misleading, not only in analysing the past but 
also in contemplating the future. If we consider India during the 20th 
century as a whole, the turning point in economic growth was circa 1951. If 
we consider India since independence, the turning point in economic growth 
was circa1980. And it is clear that the turning point in the early 1950s 
was much more significant than the structural break in the early 1980s. In 
the first phase of growth in post-independent India, from 1950 to 1980, 
India was not the lumbering elephant that it is often made out to be. In 
the second phase, from 1980 to 2005, India was not quite the running tiger 
that some believe it has become. The real failure, throughout the second 
half of the 20th century, was India's inability to transform its growth 
into development, which would have brought about an improvement in the 
living conditions of ordinary people.


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