WoF, Introduction: The Wages of Freedom: Fifty Years of the Indian Nation-State (Partha Chatterjee)

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Chatterjee, Partha ed. Wages of Freedom: Fifty Years of the Indian Nation-State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.

  • “The combined effect of the activities of the developmental state and the mobilizations carried out through the democratic political process was a rapid widening and deepening of the reach of the state into society. From a long historical view, this would appear to be the most significant achievement of the Nehru era: to lay the institutional and ideological basis for the penetration of the nation-state into domains of social activity previously untouched by the state and into the lives of virtually all sections of the people of India” (9)
  • “The tensions would, however, begin to show in the 1970s when there would occur, under Indira Gandhi in particular, a centralization of the governmental functions in the hands of a politicized bureaucracy and, as a parallel process, a dispersal and fragmentation of political society in which newly mobilized groups would begin to make demands upon the developmental state by using the language of rights and self-representation” (17)
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WoF, Chapter 3: Political Strategies of Economic Development (Prabhat Patnaik)

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Chatterjee, Partha ed. Wages of Freedom: Fifty Years of the Indian Nation-State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.

  • pre-WWI India was export heavy, with an economy focused on developing free-market policies
  • “The strategy of cordoning off the domestic economic space against easy penetration by metropolitan capital, of using the state in general, and the state capitalist sector in particular, both as a stimulant of growth and as a bulwark against metropolitan capital, was one that commanded wide domestic social support” (38)
    • during independence years, this was the general mindset, even going into the 1970s; it as criticized for being “inward looking” (39) but seen to be a way to strengthen the domestic production market
  • with agriculture, which was main department of production, there were huge government subsidies
  • mid 1980s: “The remarkable aspect of the policy of import liberalization of the late 1980s was that it was not necessarily tied in to a larger export effort; its principal immediate thrust was towards producing more goods, luxury goods, for the domestic market” (49)

MSA, Ch 19: Post-Colonial South Asia: State and Economy, Society and Politics 1971-1997

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  • a series of shifts in policy and structure: “opting for more democracy…meant strengthening popular regional leaders at the expense of the centre, a reversal of fortunes that was untenable without substantially modifying both the party and state structure” (222)
  • 1980s: central government was always worried about the regional threats, shifted to using religion-based majoritarian politics (using “Hindu” as the driving force) (227)
  • June 1991 – May 1996: series of economic reforms by Congress to loosen gov controls on markets/business
    • “reformers concentrated on redressing the negative effects of over-intervention by the state in certain sectors and removing the more stifling bureaucratic controls on industry” (229)
    • “Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze have made a powerful case for taking the Indian development debate ‘well beyond liberalization’ to focus on ‘expanding social opportunities'” (229)

MSA, Ch 18: Post-Colonial South Asia: State and Economy, Society and Politics 1946-1971

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**this book is quite broad and jumps back and forth between issues related to Pakistan and India, so there’s not too much germane material, fyi**

  • partition tainting ideas of success stemming from Independence in 1947
  • series of events tying Partition and Independence events together
  • since the Partition was so traumatic, both Pakistan & India moved to quickly make strong central governments –> this helped to bolster each economy/infrastructure from tensions and outer threats (206)
    • yet by doing this, there was a skewed “center-region” relationship as more (than was necessary, in retrospect) was passed onto the grasp of the central government
  • India: lots of central power/concentration; modeled after the already-established British colonial system
  • 1950s: many conflicts with demands for linguistically-defined boundaries of various states (208-209), especially during PM Nehru’s reign
  • even with ideas of formal democracy, India was still very authoritarian especially in economic matters

Govil Office Hours Discussion

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Just a summary of stuff I discussed with my faculty advisor during office hours today…looks like there’s some economic/market forces text to look into!

  • LexisNexis: transformative moment in 1990s with Bollywood’s industry status shift (1998?)
  • A Brief History of Neoliberalism, by David Harvey (http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Neoliberalism-David-Harvey/dp/0199283265)
    • ahhh the Geisel copy is “Missing”…I’ll keep hunting around for a copy
    • Just requested it through Interlibrary Loan…hopefully I”ll get it soon!
  • the “critical moment” might even be in the 1980s for India/Hungary (look in LexisNexis with keywords like “Hungary” and “economic transformation”, ~30 years…OR google books)
  • Wages of Freedom, Partha Chatterjee (overview of India’s economic change)
    • also requested this through Interlibrary Loan 🙂
  • Modern South Asia, Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal
    • listed as in Geisel, I’ll go tomorrow and look for a copy
  • India After Gandhi, Ramachandra Guha
    • Ordered this one on Amazon.com, along with the Mark Tredinnick book from last week; should arrive by this weekend
  • Signal to Noise, Brian Larkin
    • also requested this through Interlibrary Loan
  • Sarai Reader: http://www.sarai.net/
    • “Publications” –> “Sarai Readers” –> List of Annual Readers (No.1-8)