Soviet Studies on India
fNDIA: PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPMENT, Oriental Studies in The USSR /(No.4) U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1984, pp. 190, Rs. 3.80.
IN HIS INTRODUCTION to the volume under review, the eminent Soviet historian, Kotovsky, who is also the Consulting Editor of this volume, hopes that this "volume will to some degree familiarise foreign readers with the subjects and the level of Soviet studies of India and the theoretical discussions conducted on these subjects." If the essays collected in this brief volume are a representative sample of recent Soviet scholarship on India, then it is dear that this has indeed improved and become richer in content The analysis no longer remains .confined within theoretical strait-jacket nor is it peddling any political line. There is an explicit recognition of thecomplex-ity of the subject matter being dealt with, namely, India. There is not only a more balanced appreciation of the Congress party's role in recent Indian history but also a proper appraisal of India's position within the world capitalist system. These are clearly the strength of this volume. We shall refer to its weaknesses later.
The volume is a collection of nine essays by scholars from the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow dealing mosdy with Indian economic develop-^ ment after independence. There are two essays dealing with electoral trends . and political power in India. While there is no explicit theme underlying these essays, and it would appear that there has been no plan in die choice of the essays, it is perhaps possible to discover some common strands which link these essays together. These relate to the common interest of all the authors to explain the process of economic and political development in India specially from the mid-1960s. In this sense this book goes beyond some of the earlier works on India, like that of Shirokov (IruiustriaUsatwn of India).
The first essay by Oleg Malyarov is dearly one of the better essays which discusses the "Formation of Industrial Capital in India". Starting with an assessment of the impact of colonial rule on the Indian economy, Malyarov suggests that the peculiar nature of industrialization under colonial rule (dependent as it was on foreign capital and technology) perforce made this process slow and limited in scope.
Malyarov suggests that state support in the post-independence period uded the formation and growth of industrial capital in India and it cames in a