February 25, 2016

The Left paralysis

In this article, Sanjeev Sanyal, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes about the absence of non-Left thinkers and economists in India's intellectual establishment and what its implications for policy reforms. Sanyal opines that while India opted for economic liberalisation, it was largely due to the economic crisis that the country was facing, and not because of a wholehearted belief that this was what was good for the country. Economic reforms that aim towards liberalisation have few champions within the intellectual establishment, which continues to believe in Nehruvian socialism. 


Excerpts from the article are below: 


"..India’s intellectual establishment remained, and still largely remains, wedded to the idea that Nehru’s socialist economic model was essentially good; if only it had been implemented properly. Even when it became quite apparent by the 1970s that the model was a failure, establishment economist Raj Krishna coined the term “Hindu rate of growth” to describe lacklustre economic performance. The term slyly rebranded the failures of socialism as those of India’s social structures and dominant religion."

"The Left dominance over the intellectual establishment has its roots in the systematic “ethnic cleansing” of all non-Left thinkers since the 1950s. One of its early victims was liberal economist B.R. Shenoy who questioned Nehru’s economics. He was squeezed out of the establishment and persecuted, but continued to write against socialist planning."


The entire article can be accessed here

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