Social Scientist. v 2, no. 20 (March 1974) p. 71.


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BOOK REVIEW 71

tomy, between the ideology and purpose of industrialization in India and its mechanics and unfolding. He refuses to draw in class terms the lesson of his storyŚthe bankruptcy of the capitalist path of development as revealed in the specific experience of industrialisation in India,

Modern revisionism has spared no attempt to twist the writings of Lenin and to distort the fundamental facts of the economy and life in India to make them yield grotesque theoretical and polital conclusions favourable to the ruling classes and the regime of Indira Gandhi. Soviet academicians, including a few who once upon a time pioneered scientific research in the economic history of India are not above suspicion in coming so openly to the aid of modern revisionism. They have shown that the state in India has made tangible and progressive gains against imperialism and the monopolies; that planning in India, representing the 'overpowering desire5 to break the grip of backwardness at any price, has borrowed to a considerable extent from the experience of economic planning in socialist countries; that the ruling Congress Party has created ^nationwide unity9 on this essential aspect of economic policy; that the Government of India's intimate relations with the Soviet Union and the East European socialist countries have paved the way for a'gradual growth of the anti-capitalist content' , an 'even greater intolerance of capitalism' and 'socialist-oriented integration' ; and that the 'non-capitalist path of development' (characterized by the deprivation of the monopoly of political power of the big bourgeoisie by the strenghening of the ^ixed economy' where the public sector plays an increasing and ultimately decisive role, and by 'subjective socialist' and 'non-Marxian socialist' trends) has opened the way to socialism.

In this climate, Shirokov must be judged not merely for what he writes, but for what he might have written, but does not. It is surprising, indeed, to find Academician Shirokov resisting in 1973 the temptation to palm off on his readers, in the manner of Academicians R Ulyanovsky and V Pavlov^ the moral of the 'non-capitalist path of development'. Shirokov's is no Marxist-Leninist study, but the fact that the key incantation does not appear on a single page is one of the small mercies of this work of contemporary Soviet scholarship, for which we are grateful.

NRAM



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