Social Scientist. v 1, no. 2 (Sept 1972) p. 72.


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BOOK REVIEWS

CHARLES BETTELHEIM, INDIA INDEPENDENT, Macgibbon & Kee, London, 1968. pp 410 Special Indian Price Rs 60

THE problem of economic development in India during the post-Independence period has interested economists both at home and abroad, and there is no dearth of literature on the subject. Not only has practically every conceivable problem been identified and discussed by economists, but the numerous committees have also made substantial contributions in their respective fields.

But Bettelheim's India Independent, first published in French in 1962 and subsequently revised, and translated into English, in 1968 remains till today perhaps the only study of economic development in the ^ country during the two decades since independence by a professional [ Marxist economist of repute.

India had emerged on the eve of independence as a classic example of an underdeveloped economy. The country had suffered colonial exploitation at the hands of Britishers for about two centuries, and, in fact, the development of the world capitalist system after the advent of an industrial nucleus in eighteenth century. Britain had disrupted the world economy of the time and eventually conditioned 1 ater economic development in the metropolis and the underdevelopment in the colony, that is, in India. In fact, a structural crisis had started developing and could tie foreseen from the growing contradiction between the accelerated growth of population and the sluggishness of industrial development.

' After independence, India embarked upon the path of planned development in the existing capitalist framework. Till the end of the First world war, economists of all shades of opinion believed that it was inevitable for all countries to follow the capitalist pattern of development. The choice could, however, be made only between the classical pattern of Britain and the non-revolutionary Prussian or the Japanese pattern.

But the emergence of socialistic pattern of development in the Soviet



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