Social Scientist. v 13, no. 141 (Feb 1985) p. 38.


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CP. BHAMBHRl*

Imperialism in India

THE newly liberated countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America arc involved in a struggle to break their links with the ' 'collective neocolonialism* of the capitalist countries. The international class struggle of the newly liberated countries against the capitalist world is based on a solid historical experience that imperialist exploitation of colonies and semi-colonies distorted their development. The lesson ^f history that imperialism imposes a division of labour and mechanisms pf exploitation over the colonised world is necessary but not a sufficient condition to create genuine anti-imperialist movements in the post-liberation phase of the erswhile colonised world. Imperialism is operating in the newly liberated countries in a very sophisticated manner by identifying social classes and groups which legitimise foreign aid, foreign trade, import of foreign capital and technology in the name of national interest and goals of national economic development. Imperialism has identified many social constituencies which support imperialist penetration in the newly liberated countries, and contemporary neo-coloniai exploitation is successful because it is based on the support of indigenous social groups which are sophisticated tegitimisers, rationalisers and collaborators of imperialism. Every new social situation demands new strategies. Instead of direct physical and military domination, neo-rolonia-lism has tried to gain acceptability in the newly liberated countries by creating a social base in indigenously powerful classes and groups and by sharpening conflicts and divisions among the dominant and powerful social classes in the newly liberated countries. In the lighiofthis framework that neo-^colomal strategies are more sophisticated than the old military type imperialism, it is worthwhile to examine the social constituencies of imperialism in the con-creiecomext of India.' The British colonial rule over India created many new things in our society, but two facts are relevant for the present discussion. First India as a colony was structurally linked with the world capitals system for imperialist exploitation. Second, colonial capitalism created an_ indigenous capitalist class which experienced new opportunities especially during the inter-war period and which experienced many objective obstructions in development because the Indian market was controlled bv the British colonisers for the British capitalist class. This struggle for control over the Indian market created a contradiction between the British colonial power and the Indian capitalist class and the struggle brought about a negotiated

Centre for Political Studio*. Jawaharia) Nehru Umvmity. New DdM.



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