Past, Present and Future
Edited by D. S.P. Rao and Bart van Ark
Chapter 4: An Indian Miracle?
In explaining the acceleration in Indian growth, and to judge if an Indian economic miracle is on its way, it is first necessary to establish when this acceleration began, as this is still subject to controversy. Second it is necessary to identify the sources of this acceleration and to see to what extent these are the results of policy. Third, to provide some reading of the tea leaves until 2030, it is necessary to outline the current constraints on growth. But before that, the current change in Indian economic fortunes needs to be put into historical perspective. This is done in the first part of this article, followed by the next three parts, which deal with the other three broad themes outlined above. As this article is in honor of Angus Maddison, I rely wherever possible on the growth accounting method that he has made so much his own. 2.2 REPRESSION, CRISIS AND REFORM Like many other developing countries, India at its independence in 1947 followed an inward-looking heavy industry biased industrialization strategy. This was in part a reaction to the laissez faire and free trade policies followed by the British Raj in the nineteenth century, which were erroneously thought to have led to India’s continuing stagnation. Though contemporary research has questioned the validity of this nationalist and often Marxist perspective, it still colors the minds of Indian elites.
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