Its very important the BJP start the process of liberalising India’s economy and starting the next revolutionary phase of India’s growth story. We have forgotten the days before the economic liberalization of 1991, what India was like then. The India of today is filthy rich and overflowing with wealth compared to the India of 1991. It happened because of the reforms brought in by PV Narasimha Rao.
Let us remind ourselves about that, since we don’t talk about it enough. India’s economy was so heavily regulated that no commerce, beyond the little bit that had been allowed to continue by the Congress after Independence was possible. India had had a thriving economy internally at the time the British Left. This the Congress did not tell us.
We don’t get told about Motilal Nehru’s wealth and how he settled his son to the Prime Minister of India. The Congress doesn’t mention how come the ascetic Gandhi was living at the Lutyens Delhi residence Birla House of the wealthy Birla Family at the time he was killed there. We don’t get told about the wealthy Congressi families who all ran wealthy industrial and construction empires during the British years, who were chosen by Nehru into top congress leadership positions at the cost of freedom fighters who had built the Republic of India.
Notice how few of India’s political families are from Freedom Fighter families? The fact is that after the freedom struggle was done, Nehru and the wealthy elite pushed the Freedom fighters out of politics, and they succeeded. Freedom Fighters had been desh bhakts fighting for Indians against the British and doing it at their own cost.
They had not been trained and experienced in grabbing power from fellow Indians and taking a lion’s share of the wealth. Those who were trained in those arts before independence, got rid of the freedom fighters after independence. That’s the truth of the Indian National Congress.
The Congress doesn’t talk about any of this. What it tells us instead is that India had been poor and backward under the looting British and the Nehruji built India up from scratch. But in fact, Nehru and then Indira squeezed the thriving Pre-indepedence economy to death with nationalization, regulation, socialism. They squeezed the life out of the economy and replaced it with a vast Super State controlled by the Congress Elite.
And it stayed that way until the death of Rajiv Gandhi and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lets clear the air on that one.
We are always told what a great friend Russia was to India. Indians have been engineered into a pro-Russia, anti-America mindset by the Congress and they don’t even realize what’s happened. The fact is that the British wanted to delay their departure from India. They were going, but not immediately. They wanted to sort out things economically, politically, administratively and leave in a way that was orderly. But the Americans made them leave India IMMEDIATELY. NOW. We all fall into the “America is selfish and we are not for sale to America” state of mind, because that’s the Nehruvian idea planted like a cancer in the Indian mind through the news media, education, training institutes of the bureaucracy and military.
What we are never encouraged to think about the part America played in sending the British packing soon after the second world war. Because doing so takes away from the Congress the claim that it alone won freedom for India and Indians don’t need to understand anything else. The BJP falls into this trap itself, agreeing that Indians fought for freedom but that it wasn’t Nehru and Gandhi who delivered it, but Bose and Patel and Sarvarkar.
The true story is that the US wanted a world of free trade and democracy to unite against the Stalinist communist threat to the world. Nehru, the elite Marxist, sold a lot of hooey about Non-Alignment but with his planning commissions and the five year plans, copied the Soviet model for the Indian economy instead of continuing the Free Trade pro-America arrangement of the British years. The US still helped India enormously in the post independence era with food aid, the green revolution, set up of institutions like AIIMS, help in the war with China in 1962, and so on.
But Nehru only insulted the Americans and lectured them about their filthy capitalist ways while begging for aid. The Soviet Union in the meantime got busy infiltrating the Left in India. From the universities to communist party offices to offices of workers unions, millions of Indians took and executed instructions from the Soviets about their operations in India. Leftist politicians received money from the Soviets to keep India friendly to the Soviet Union and to prevent any freedom in the economy and loss of authority of the State through free market that could open India, its resources and its market to the American led world of free economies.
Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, and the Soviets kept India in the jail of poverty and state control. But then the collapse of the Indian communist economy, the vacuum created in the Congress leadership by the death of Rajiv Gandhi, and the end of Soviet support to Indian politicians caused by collapse of the Soviet Union itself, all came close together in 1990-1991. They created both the need for immediate action by the government, and also the opportunity for a strong Prime Minister to act decisively and bring in policies that the Gandhi led INC and the Soviet backed politicians would never have allowed in the past.
PV Narasimha Rao rammed a lightning bolt through the body and spirit of India, and India became rich and free compared to how it was during the Soviet Era.
The policies were a prescription given by the IMF, with progressive stages to be implemented one after the other. PV Narasimha Rao implemented the first stage. The economy boomed. AB Vajpayee continued it, the economy continued to boom. Congress, got rid of Narasimha, gave all the credit to Manmohan Singh and put him in the PMO. Now we have Narendra Modi and the economy is not doing well.
The fact is that the reforms of Narasimha Rao were never completed. The reforms he implemented have given all the benefit it was going to give. Further reforms are needed. And it is well understood what those reforms are.
But Manmohan Singh didn’t implement them, and now Modi isn’t doing it either.
Why not? Can India reform only when there is a world crisis, a domestic crisis and chaos on top? Or has the BJP found that the Nehru/Gandhi family’s reasons for not reforming the economy are good reasons for those who wish to rule India?
The BJP has to sort this out with itself. Because Nehru/Gandhi’s biggest crimes were not pseudo secularism, suppression of Hindu identity, softness on Pakistan and Kashmir. The biggest crime was the Soviet state and socialist economy that they built.
If the BJP doesn’t have the intention or the ability to do what is required to liberate and supercharge India’s economy, if the Nehruvian system is to continue with its system of privilege for a few industrialist friends and welfare gifts under government schemes for the voters, then the BJP is indeed Nehruvian Socialism with a cow and cannot deliver on its promise of India as a major global power.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.