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Volume XLIV, No.51

Industrialise and Perish

by V. R. Krishna Iyer

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Modernisation is axiomatically through industrialisation according to capitalist dogma. Appropriate technology reconciles progress through industry with employment of labour. Super capitalists with focus on hyper profit adopt gluttonous technology whereby accumulation of wealth with the least Labour is achieved, the hunger of the masses and the decline of agriculture disregarded and national policy being regarded as industrialise or perish. Mega-corporates, particularly foreign and imitatively colossal and native, destroy agricultural development and consume in the basic thesis that industrial production is the principle source of wealth for any country. India is an agricultural country but unemployment multiplies and the masses are left hungry when the main source of employment, agriculture, hardly survives. Such land has a potential for profitable cultivation. Since traditional commodities do not withstand competition with industry or commercial crops which become big business technology reduces the need for Labour promotes appetite for wealth and man becomes poor value augmenting starvation. Fundamentally the craze for wealth through hi-tech industry generates economic disaster. If our country cares for Gandhiji, if India lives in its villages, if a billion Indians matter more than 23 millionaires, a conceptual reversal of vision and values is necessary. I am not against industrialisation as such but wealth multiplication in a few hands throwing voiceless millions as worthless commodities. The proletariat must survive and flourish and shall not surrender to the syndrome of proprietariat monopoly.

It is from this angle that I agree with those who are campaigning against the acquisition of 1000 acres of green prosperity in favour of a giant company for starting a car industry which will run and run over and destroy agriculture and humanity as a nation’s treasure. Gandhiji taught us the fundamentals of development.

The Gandhian concept of development rejected the idea that it should aim primarily at the creation of material wealth or the satisfactionof insatiable, endlessly multiplied needs. ‘In sofaras we have made the modern materialistic craze our goal,’ he wrote, ‘so far are we going downhill in the path of progress.’
(Third World Tomorrow, p. 19)

Nehru tried to reconcile rural development with necessary industries. But a perverse economic terrorism since 1991 made India a victim of the Western, particularly yankee, winds. India today is rapidly dying and its villages suffer desertification and starvation, of course by a process of recolonisation we are becoming foreign automobile manufactures and dumping around for five-star consumerism. India can never be regarded as a developed country so long as it is a prisoner of dependencia syndrome and dehumanised progress ‘where wealth accumulates and men decay’. It is unfortunate that a Leftist Government should use the statutory machinery to acquire thousand acres of fertile land from common farmers to be made over to one of the most powerful industrial concerns in the country. The Marxist party becomes a misnomer if ordinary landholders are to be deprived of their lands by the State in favour of huge companies. Karl Marx stand betrayed when a party with his name uses the State posse to benefit a large company depriving rich land from peasants while infertile or barren lands are available for an industrial enterprise. Even otherwise manufacture of cars, construction of huge roads when the State has scarce resources and poverty plagues the people and jobless malady stares the economy.

Marx once wrote:

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.

If the State has the will to restore the acquired lands it is perfectly possible to add a provision to the Land Acquisition Act that all lands that are statutorily seized and made over to private enterprises will be vested in the owners if moved within a specific a period for such return on repayment of compensation if in the opinion of the state the land was acquired against the will of the owners. This will do social justice, a basic principle of equity.

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