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)

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)