Economic and Political Scene^ 1972-7^
THE last one year was an eventful year for India in respect of international and internal developments.
In the international sphere, American imperialism was forced to retreat and sign a new agreement on Vietnam. The African people succeeded in intensifying their national liberation struggles, particularly in Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique. The fight against the racist regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia continued with added vigour. Soviet Union, China and all other socialist countries strengthened their economic and military potential, thus providing an effective counteracting force against the aggressive designs of American imperialism. The crisis in the world capitalist system got deepened and the 'Almighty Dollar' was deposed from the pre-eminence it enjoyed in the monetary system of the capitalist world.
The American imperialists are active in the Indian sub-continent. They have armed Pakistan and are now engaged in the most diabolic game of converting Bangladesh into a base for anti-Indian and other nefarious operations. Sikkim is also being used as a new area for their political manoeuvres.
The critical economic situation in India marked by widespread drought and famine, skyrocketing prices and the general inflationary situation, increasing poverty and unemployment, is being taken advantage of by American imperialism as an opportunity for mounting economic and political pressures on the Government of India.
Against the backdrop of the projected foreign aid needs of Rs 3000 crores for the Fifth Five Year Plan, the United States Government is reported to be exerting political pressures to ensure a shift in India's external and domestic policies in favour of the United States. The protracted negotiations on rescheduling of debts and on the disposal of accumulated PL-480 counterpart funds to the order of Rs 2600 crores are pointers to the impending dangers.
The economic situation in the country worsened during the last year, accentuating all the contradictions in the industrial and agricultural sectors. Poverty and misery of the vast majority of the urban and rural poor have been intensified to unimaginable proportions. Starvation deaths of human beings, large-scale perishing of cattle, paltry rations and grossly inadequate relief measures which do not even touch the fringe of the problem— all these have made it possibly the worst year in the post-Independence era.
The failure of crops, despite the grandiose ^crash programmes9 for agricultural production and the so-called green revolution, and the utter callousness and lack of will on the part of the government to pro-