Social Scientist. v 19, no. 212-13 (Jan-Feb 1991) p. 104.


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104 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

examining the 'relationship between the administration and the private industrial sector' and the *role administration plays* in the period after independence. The very terms of discourse distance one from proceeding on the expected 'political economy of the small industries policy*. We shall return to this later. Presently let us turn to the conclusion of the fifth chapter which suggests that with an 'advanced stage* of centralisation of capital a substantial role to the private sector and the role of public sector consigned to certain activities, the need to encourage small industries was positively viewed by the industrial capital and *Nehruvian socialism* was the basis for this consensus. The sixth chapter describes how the spirit of Gandhism was abandoned largely due to the compulsions of the capitalist development strategy. The seventh chapter is a graphic account of the switch in the small industries policy during the post-independence period progressively away from the rural pre-capitalist mould, bypassing the Gandhian ideology, towards modernisation of small scale units. The policy shift is seen as 'creation of small scale units for extension of the home market in modem machinery, raw materials and factory made wage goods*. Thus the objective was to provide a link between the development of capitalist production in general and encouragement of small capitalist units. The eighth and ninth chapters discuss the consequences of small industries policy over the years. After a lengthy and not so unfamiliar discussion of the nature of the NSS, Census, CMI and ASI data, on the basis of the ratio of workers in the household industry, it is concluded that there is a trend towards the decline of the 'pre-capitalist* industries and shift in favour of 'small*, *medium small* and 'medium big* capital. Thus the author sees the overall policy, including the efforts at import substituting industrialisation, leading to a substantial proportion of consumer goods being produced by the mechanised industry and resulting in the destruction of traditional rural non-agricultural commodity production. The Juggernaut of the capitalist transformation which brought about a shift in favour of modernisation of small scale industry was so powerful as to crush any resistance as instanced by the attempt 6f Charan Singh's intervention in favour of the traditional industries. He concludes that not only 'will any attempt to protect the interests of the pre-capitalist producers fail at the economic level,' . . . but that *a political movement in their favour will also be repulsed*.

The book is a product of meticulous scholarship and painstaking work involving systematic collection and utilisation of critically scrutinized information from sources which have often been changing the definitions and scope of the variables on which information is gathered. However, one cannot but wonder whether all these scholarly assets could have been put to much more rewarding outcome if only there was a certain modification in the approach. What credit Marxists would do to the dialectics of Marx if they try to fit to the



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