Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

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-Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya
[Organiser, Republic Day Special, 1962]
BJS has a Pragmatic Approach to Planning

Continuing his learned series, the BJS General Secretary makes a comparative study this time of party attitudes towards the problem of planning in general and to the Indian Plans in particular. ‘While the socialists’, he writes, ‘want to change the society to suit western technology, the Swatantra wants to adopt the technology without any social changes. The Jana Sangh differs with both of them. It wants to evolve a technology that will suit our social conditions and reform social institutions to conform to the permanent cultural values of the nation.’

The need for planning having been recognised the question of its technique and strategy assumes importance. It is on that basis that the form and implementation of any plan depends. Except for the communist party all other parties accept that the plan has to be conditioned besides economic factors by certain generally recognised social and political values. Planning within the framework of the Parliamentary democracy is desired by all the political parties.

Tracing the history of planning in India the Congress manifesto writes–
‘The two main aims guiding India after Independence were to establish firmly a democratic political structure based on the Parliamentary form of Government, and to build up by democratic means a rapidly expanding and technologically progressive economy, and a social order based on justice and offering equal opportunity to every citizen. The First Five Year Plan was launched with these objectives in view.’

The Praja Socialist Party also talks about democratic socialism. However, it has not expressly stated that the plan should not be allowed to go contrary to democratic ideals.

The Swantantra Party wants planning to be ‘carried out within the limits of the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.’

The PSP and the Congress do not want any such limitations. They would amend the Constitution rather than amend the plan to conform to the Constitutional guarantees.

What is to be this ‘New Order’?

Besides, they also want that the social set-up should also be replaced by a new order. What that order will be like, they fail to define. The 1957 election manifesto of the Congress writing about socialism says–
‘Socialism does not merely signify changes in the social structure, in ways of thinking and in ways of living.’
The PSP however feels that the Congress has failed to bring about any social changes and accuses it thus–
‘In spite of the professions of the Congress Party that it has accepted the goal of establishing a socialist pattern of society, the working of the Congress Governments, even after its adoption of this objective, shows that its conception of socialism is confined to the adoption of modern techniques of production with the smatterings of welfare programmes whenever this could be conveniently accepted without disturbance to the present social order and to the enlargement of the public sector.’

While the socialists want to change the society to suit modern, or better described, western technology, the Swatantra wants to adopt that technology without any social changes. The Jana Sangh differs with both of them. It wants to evolve a technology that will suit our social conditions and reform social institutions to conform to the permanent cultural values of the nation.

The BJS election manifesto after recognising ‘the need of planning for utilising scarce resources of the nation for a maximum return during a minimum of time’ cautions.

‘But planning is a means and not an end. It has to be formulated on a realistic appraisal of the needs and capabilities of the nation.’

With regard to the technique the election manifesto writing about industry clearly lays down–
‘The Bharatiya Jana Sangh is of the view that, for a proper and quick industrialisation, instead of copying western pattern, we should develop our own technique. The optimum combination of available factors of production differs with every country. Also, our cultural traditions, social values, and the needs of our material well-being are so different that by initiating and imposing foreign techniques we can neither solve our economic problems nor create a self-sufficient and self-generating economy.’

The manifesto continues

‘The Bharatiya Jana Sangh, will evolve a new technique with which every family will become a production unit on the basis of a decentralised economy. It will also maximise production together with an automatic and more equitable distribution of wealth and incomes.’

Radical Flow

Planning requires determination of priorities and assignment of tasked to different sectors. The Five Year Plans, based on the Soviet model, have given priority to industrial development and amongst the industries to basic and heavy capital-intensive industries. The result has been not only an acute shortage of wage goods, but an increase in unemployment, prices and taxes. The imbalance has to be rectified. The Congress manifesto in general and the third five year plan in particular, proposes no change in the Priorities. On the contrary stress on heavy industries and capital-intensive methods in agriculture continues.

The PSP and the Communist Party, perhaps because of their adherence to this basic strategy of planning do not propose any significant changes in this respect. Of course, the PSP manifesto has a soft word for the small-scale decentralised industries and bemoans that ‘modernist development and debris of artisan production exist side by side.’ But they want small units not because they feel the need of recording the priorities of production but only as a ‘firm check on accumulation of wealth and power.’

The communist manifesto expressly wants ‘a comprehensive programme of industrial legation in which the public sector must at once by given the leading role and capital goods industries the pride of place.’

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the Swatantra Party have definitely demanded a change in the priorities.
‘Agriculture will receive priority’, says the Swatantra manifesto and continues, ‘and be put on a sound basis automatically leading to the emergence of a viable industrial sector.’

With regard to industries it says, ‘The Swantantra Party stands for the balanced development of capital good industries, organised consumer goods industries and rural industries that afford supplementary employment in the processing of the products of agriculture. While not opposed to the development of heavy and basic industries commensurate with the availability of resources, the party rejects the lop-sided priority given to heavy industry to the neglect of agriculture, cottage industries and organised and light industries producing consumer goods which help to make life happy for people with low grade incomes.’

Proposing changes in the Third Plan the Jana Sangh manifesto also says–
‘First priority will be given to agriculture so that the country becomes self-sufficient in food and agricultural raw materials’ and that secondly ‘small scale industries and consumer goods industries will be established on a vast scale.’

The Two Extremes

In respect of assignment there is a good deal of confusion mainly because of a doctrinaire in place of a pragmatic approach towards the economic problems of the country.

While the Swatantra party swinging the pendulum to one extreme wants the Government not to shoulder any responsibilities as a participant in industry and trade, the communist party representing the extreme and fanatic type of the socialists stands for a total liquidation of the private sector.

Defining the role of the Government the Swatantra manifesto writes–
The role of Government in industry and trade should be that of a helper and regulator but not a participant. The business of the Government is not business.

On the other hand the Communist demands that ‘the State sector be rapidly expanded in different sectors of our economy to raise resources for the plan. For this, not only must new undertakings be started by the State, but a number of existing private industries, and business concerns as we have already suggested, must be nationalised. State trading in our internal market should be developed as a major source of revenue.’

PSP’s Approach Would Mean the Liquidation of the Independent Trader & Artisan
In its programme of immediate nationalisation, the manifesto catalogues–
‘Banking, general insurance, iron and steel, coal and other mining, oil, sugar, just, tea-plantations under foreign control as well as export trade.’

‘The nationalisation of banking’ the manifesto continues, ‘we repeat, brooks not a moment’s delay’.
The Congress and the PSP both stand for an ultimate programme of nationalisation. But the Congress knowing fully well the difficulties facing such a programme has softer words for the private sector as well. ‘In view of our policy of socialisation’, the Congress manifesto states, ‘the public sector will increasingly expand and play a dominant role, both for purposes of accelerating the speed of industrialisation and yielding additional resources.’ But they are prepared to tolerate the private sector and say ‘...the increase in production is essential and therefore the private sector is to be encouraged in its particular fields of activity, the growth of the corporate private sector during the past ten years has raised new problems...Normally the larger enterprises should be in the public sector.’

(Deviation from the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 may be marked).

Compiled by Amarjeet Singh, Research Associate & Programme Coordinator, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, 9, Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
Content copyright © Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
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