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Re: Mr. Ashish should respect....

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Hi Ashish,
While I agree with your views on decentralization and 
privatization in today's context, I fail to see, that how could a 
free trade concept have convinced the policy makers in 1950s era, 
when we had such bitter experience of foreign influence on India. 
It may be said that the policy making was "over-cautious" to any 
potential foreign entry into India. I dont see how erstwhile India 
could have been thrown open for "free-trade" (so synonymous to 
free investment, but later on that..). It is easier to imagine its 
viability today (with some apprehensions about the long term 
prospects especially in a country like India) but certainly it was 
not in those years. That is as far as FDI goes.

As regards India's Russian association, at the time Russia was as 
strong as America (in fact, it was stronger that America). 
Moreover, and this is what Nehru's idea were, he did not want to 
antagonize and make enemies all over Asia. India was already in 
conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir and a "cold war" with China 
over Aksai Chin and other areas. A Russian inclination also 
provided for balance of power in the Asian region, more so in 
favor (favour) of India. From US's point of view, it did not care 
about India's position and security concerns but it feared the 
spread of communism in Asia whether it was Vietnam or Afghanistan 
or any other country. That solely explains US interest in Asia 
(whether its pivot was Pakistan or India, it did not matter). 
India rejected US offer and that was birth of NAM, which was a 
strong "bloc" in itself. America got involved in Vietnam war (and 
suffered heavily, which is the reason why it pulled off. Sanity 
precludes us from believing that it was public pressure that 
America called off. Rocketing inflation rates back home were main 
causes). Nevertheless, as is historically evident, USA was back in 
action; it used Pakistan to curb Russian entry into Afghanistan. 
And Pakistan used that US association to cause infiltration in 
Kashmir. And you think USA was for Pakistan. All of us know here, 
with "US falling for Pakistan" today who is better of; India or 
Pakistan. So let us put that off. I dont say that present US 
association of India is going to be as detrimental or detrimental 
even. No!!! Because, unlike one-eyed Pakistan, India 
administration has been sensible enough to differentiate between 
the US motives at different times.

Also, Nehru himself was particularly aware of  "threat" of 
Communism, as the ertwhile bureaucrats put it, not internationally 
but within India itself. I do not have specific quotations and 
examples of hand, but he has provided many instances to support 
that claim. So, your conclusion that "Communism was so much 
respected because lots of intellectuals considered it morally 
superior to Western Capitalism" is based on a biased sample size 
or a sample too small to make any statistically valid conclusion, 
as a statistician would like to put it. (Sorry for that piece of 
light vein).

I am not sure of your sources of information about India's foreign 
policy but I think certain points that you have raised need to get 
straightened. I would suggest the interested folks to read 
"India's Foreign Policy: The Nehru Years" edited by B.R.Nanda. 
Even the critical reading of the text is convincing of the fact 
that Nehru was, arguably, the most visionary Prime Minister India 
has produced. (Some would argue in favor of Narsimha Rao for his 
policy of economic liberalization but audience might be interested 
to know that the blueprints for the liberalization were ready 
before PVN govenrment came into power. So the credit goes to our 
bureaucrats...poor souls, they always bear the brunt and hardly 
get credit for anything). Unfortunately for Nehru, and fortunately 
for debaters like us, he put his hands into too many things at a 
time and for his distrust of his ministers, handled most himself, 
only to leave after him a bunch of riddles, which gave rise to 
different schools of thought about his policies.

And while it is tempting for us to compare the merits of various 
economic policies in other countries like Hongkong, Israel, 
Singapore, no country is as special as India for its huge 
population and religious, cultural, linguistic and what-not 
potpourri in face of which the  viability of any policy can be 
testified only by time. Till then all we can do is speculate at 


PS: This is a bunch of most talented individuals I have come 
across on any online forum. Congratulations IPI. India will win. 
You are there for her.

On Thu, 28 Feb 2002 Ashish Hanwadikar wrote :
>Hi Yogesh,
> > As is known, India has had NAM association since Nehruvian 
> > If you trace back in time and read India's foreign policy of 
> > times, you would realize that it was the need of the hour 
> > India to be in neutral position. India had its bag full of
> > internal concerns to cope up with; education, communalism 
> > cessationist movements all over the place to name the few.
>I agree with you. But way to deal with these things is not by
>centralizing power and responsibility but distributing them. So 
>central Govt. can focus on foriegn policy, protection of its 
>and major breakdowns in law and order and such stuff. If you 
>your problems by running all sorts of factories including 
>bakeries, and such non-sense then obviously protection and 
>of Kashmir and other terrories into India are going to take a 
>seat. How come Nehru was so stupid as not to realize that a 
>democracy like India can never micromanage close to a billion 
>without jeopardizing national security? (I know Population was 
>then but there was never any doubt that central program that 
>started then will have to scale up for more population).
>And it was Russian economic and technological assistance to the 
>of India that perpetuated this problem. Because without Russia's 
>there was no way a young democracy like India can ever dream of 
>such massive infrastructure projects.
>Instead if we have opened our economy to foriegn investment GOI 
>have been free to pursue National Security and we would not have 
>saddled with such an inefficent and corrupt economy and 
> > There
> > is no denying of Nehru's socialistic bent (which to some 
> > explains India's Russian association) but do you think India 
> > resources to support what could have turned into open war 
> > the blocs of the world? No!!! So while indeed there were two 
> > (America and Russia..rather liberalism and communism), yes,
> > "India's struggle was unique" (more local than global), 
> > India's stance on NAM. It meant neutrality to the lust of 
> > own ideologies on other nations.
>I don't see any thing wrong on imposing ideas of democracies, 
>on other Nations. I think those dictators who do not recognize 
>freedom of their own subjects have no right to expect from others 
>to be
>left alone. Atleast we should not give them moral legitimacy.
> > If we are to trust history, then
> > remember that US support to India was conditional (support 
> > Vietnam war etc.) whereas Russia's support was more due to
> > ideological reasons (India was (is)socialist country).
>Ideology? What Idealogy? Centralization of productive resources 
>in the
>society? Nonsense. I have repeatedly said and will say again 
>benevolent but stupid ideas like Communism and Socialism have 
>done more
>harm than what oppressive westerners can ever possibly dream of. 
>support to India might have been conditional. I don't care. 
>Whether US
>supports us or not atleast we should have allowed US to support
>Pakistan. US has a democracy and free press. It would have been
>possible to get investment from private US citizens for India 
>getting any official support from US Govt. Because unlike Russia 
>two things are different in US. That's why even though officially 
>hates China and is worried about its policies private US 
>investment in
>China is at record level.
>And also we could have critized US involvement in Vietnam and 
>places and still have got military help from US if we had 
>Russia for its communism. But the problem is that Communism was 
>so much
>respected because lots of intellectuals considered it morally 
>to Western Capitalism. That's the reason even if we had 
>Psychological support to US that Capitalism is efficient and 
>equivalent of democracy I think US would have never drawn to 
>Why would US have shifted to Pakistan given that it was a 
>theocratic state and US was helping Israel against precisely this 
>of nonsense? Had we condemned Russia agression against 
>Afghanistan and
>joined US (at that time India has already made a mark for itself 
>World diplomacy and economically also India was not that bad) 
>there was
>no reason for US to fall for Pakistan. Granted Pakistan was
>strategically in a superior position for Afghanistan but so is it 
>US now praises Pakistan for its support in Afghanistan but does 
>justify or condone its behavior in Kashmir because India is 
>supporting US. The same thing would have happened during 
>agression in Afghanistan.

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