Money does not fall from the sky, it can only come
from a highly developed industry on a large scale. Even for setting up one
primary school requires a great deal of money, to buy land, build schoolrooms,
pay salaries to teachers and other staff, etc.
We have to build tens of thousands of primary
schools, high schools, colleges, Universities, scientific institutes, Medical
colleges, Engineering Colleges, hospitals, etc. Where will the money for all
this come from? It can only come from a highly developed industry.
But to have a large, modern industry we must have
a large market, because the goods which are manufactured must be sold. That is
why we must remain united as a country, otherwise we will not have a large
Overdependence on foreign markets is very
precarious, because that foreign market may be captured by some other countries’
goods, or there may be a recession in that foreign country due to which it may
not be able to buy our goods, and then our export industries will close down. So
for stability we must mainly depend on our domestic market.
But if our people are largely poor they will not
have the purchasing power to buy the goods which our domestic industry produces.
That is why we must raise the purchasing power of our masses by raising their
real incomes, that is, incomes relative to the price index, so that the goods
manufactured can be sold.
The problem is therefore not how to increase
production. There is no difficulty in increasing production, for the position
today is very different from what it was in 1947. In 1947 there were few
industries (the British policy was to keep India largely unindustrialized so
that our industries do not become a rival to British industries), and few
engineers and managers as compared to today. Today, however we have thousands of
bright engineers and managers, and industry has grown compared to 1947. We can
at any time increase steel production, or chemicals production, or production of
anything with the help of our engineers and managers, many of whom are brilliant
(the Silicon Valley in U.S.A. has thousands of bright Indian engineers). We have
also huge natural wealth which can give us all the raw materials we require,
because India is huge in size.
But the point is that the goods manufactured have
to be sold, and how can they be sold if the people are poor and do not have the
purchasing power to buy them? That is why the problem is not how to increase
production (for that can easily be done) but how to increase the purchasing
power of the masses, which will automatically raise their standard of living and
give them decent lives, and also ensure that the goods manufactured are sold.
It is here that our genuine and patriotic
intellectuals must apply their minds.
is a former Supreme Court Judge and the Chairman of the Press Council of India]