ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dynamics of Non-Development

Pradhan H Prasad THE ruling oligarchy that emerged after independence in India could not rid itself of an over-centralised decision-making system which was a colonial legacy. It also had a sizeable number of neo-compradore elements in its fold. This saw the emergence of foreign aid (i e, foreign grants and loans) as the kingpin of our development strategy which sought to achieve 'self-reliant growth with social justice' for its people. This promoted a technology syndrome which not only encouraged capital-intensive techniques in a labour-surplus economy but also failed to capitalise on the nation's resource base, thereby pushing the country into a foreign dependency paradigm at an ever increasing pace.' On the other hand, a centralised decision-making system for a country as big as India (the second most populous nation in the world) saw the ever increasing bureaucratfsation of the development process and loss of touch with ground realities. The result was retarded and uneven regional growth, swamping of the coutry with parasitic elements and freeloaders (in the form of brokers, contractors, agents, consultants, etc), particularly connected with the increasing public expenditure, and growth of joblessness on an ever-increasing scale. Employment in the organised sector of the country (both private and public sector, including government administration) increased from 12.5 million in 1961 to 30.61 million in 1990, whereas the total working population increased from 188.2 million in 1961 to 338.4 million in 1990. The annual rate of growth of employment in the organised sector continued to decline. It was about 1.7 per cent in the decade of the 80s, 1.4 per cent between 1985 and 1990 and only about I per cent in 1990. On the other hand, the working population grew by an annual rate of 2.5 per cent in the 80s. Those employed in the organised sector are only about 9 per cent of the total working population. About 14.6 per cent of the rural households (which would constitute about 10.6 per cent of total households in India) art engaged in crop production and use hired labour on a regular basis. Those self-employed in these households can be treated as fully employed persons. This suggests that at least 80 per cent of the working population in this country are unemployed, underemployed and disguised-unemployed. But the large bulk of them do not now accept the situation of remaining half-clad and ill-fed as in the past; rather, they are now engaged in all sorts of clandestine activities such as theft, dacoities, looting, smuggling, drug-peddling, bootlegging, kidnapping, extortion, etc. This non- development syndrome has not only resulted in society being criminalised and lumpenised with concomitant rise of organised violence at an increasing rate, but also allowed the feudal ethos and identities (such as caste, communal, ethnic, regional, linguistic etc) to persist with a vengeance.

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