Monday, December 25, 2006

India in American Perspective

India in American Perspective by Girish Mishra. December 24, 2006

Ever since the early 1990s India has been moving closer to the United States of America. The collapse of the world socialist system, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and China becoming a capitalist-roader hastened this process. The forces that once talked of free enterprise and attacked Nehru-Indira Gandhi dispensation have become emboldened to talk of the “wasted” or “disastrous” years when the ruling party mouthed its commitment to socialism, equitable economic growth, public sector commanding economic heights and state controlling the steering wheel of the economy. There is no dearth of such people at present boldly walking in the corridors of power in India’s capital.

India was one of the earliest to go in for the ten points of the Washington consensus. It meant limiting the role of the state, privatizing the existing public sector enterprises, opening the doors of the economy for free flow of goods and capital, imposing fiscal discipline, keeping labour under control and, above all, allowing market forces to operate freely without any substantial regulation. It has been the firm belief of the people and parties that have been in power since the early 1990s that there is no other way out except this to make India an economic super power. Time and again the rising Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange and the increasing rate of economic growth have been held up as a conclusive proof of the success of the new strategy based on the Washington consensus. Each time the Sensex has crossed the next 1,000 mark it has been celebrated with great fanfare by the government as well as the media.

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