Social Scientist. v 1, no. 4 (Nov 1972) p. 74.


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74 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

trade in foodgrains and industrial raw-materials has to be taken over by the Government. The curbing of monopolies and speculative trade would put some check on the enormous income accruing to the affluent classes^ It will also avoid the consequent perversions of priorities of production which are governed by the effective demand backed by money (white and black) and not by social needs.

As an immediate measure it is essential to provide for the monopoly procurement of the entire surplus in foodgrains and their actual distribution through statutory rationing. It is necessary to provide work, particularly in areas which are hit by scarcity conditions. These are only short-term measures to tide over the present crisis. In the longer run, the need is to use the resource of the nation for expanding production according to social needs. The control of monopoly houses, both Indian and foreign, over the industrial sector, the continuance of feudal and semi-feudal relations in agriculture1 and the increasing dependence of the economy on imperialist countries for capital and technical aid keep the production base narrow. Only through a complete reversal of the present economic policies will it be possible for us to expand the production base, ensure equitable distribution of goods and services and control the inflationary rise in prises.

BY OUR REASEARCH SECTION

Tribal Development : A Strategy for Failure

RECENTLY a leader of Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress declared that "Smt Indira Gandhi has tremendous 'weakness^ for tribal people and her devoted concern for their progress and prosperity is beyond imagination."1 Therefore, one would imagine that under such personally committed guidance the government's development programmes would show some measure of success at least in Meghalaya, which has a predominantly tribal population.

This, however, is not the case. The Secretary of the Assam Government who was in charge of planning in Meghalaya until recently, summed up the experience of twentyfive years of Congress tulc as follows :

The overall impression one gets of the Meghalaya economy is that at best (italics ours) the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills district can be said to be keeping up with Assam in the agricultural sphere, while the Garo Hills district is lagging behind with its per capita income from agriculture even having registered a slight fall. The position of Assam vis-a-vis the other states is also not happy with its per capita income placing it seventh among the states compared to



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