Class Forces in the Indian Economy
RANJIT KUMAR SAU, INDIAN ECONOMIC GROWTH: CONSTRAINTS AND PROSPECTS, Orient Longman Limited, 1973, pp 116 Rs 8.50.
AFTER 23 years of capitalist planning, India is passing through a phase of deepening economic crisis characterized by a stagnant industrial sector, a tradition-bound agrarian sector and a disproportionately bulging tertiary sector with labour force displaced from agriculture and traditional industries by overcrowding in the former and capital scarcity in the latter. Galloping prices and an ^.cute food shortage have made life a misery for the masses. The lucky few have moved along the capitalist path of development to an increasing concentration of wealth, income and economic power. Every five years, the Planning Commission fabricates fat volumes called 'Tive Year Plan Drafts" which prescribe the routine '/unique strategy of economic development with particular emphasis on self-reliance, growth and reduction in inequality." The Fifth Plan has gone a step further, bringing in the political slogan of Garbi hatao (Elimination of Poverty) in the form of 'Growth with Justice9. The planning efforts have culminated in the expansion of the monopoly houses and the parallel (black money) economy.
It is in this context that one is compelled to raise questions regarding the laws of motion of the economy. This is what Ranjit Sau attempts to do in his book, a collection of three articles published in the columns of Economic and Political Weekly, A remarkable feature of this book is the stress on "the dynamics of an economic system . .. determined by the prevailing class relations."
In the first chapter, "Indian Economic Growth: Constraints and Prospects,5^ the author tries to explain the production relations existing in agriculture, industry and commerce and arrives at a theory of income distribution based on "the foundation laid by Marx and Kaleck". Sau