with world capitalism but by maintaining a degree of relative autonomy. In
other words, self-reliance was not an end in itself, as has often been
interpreted by many commentators, but was viewed as a strategic necessity.
    There are several other economic concerns that were enunciated explicitly
as part of this framework. These included the objectives of bringing about the
regional dispersal of growth, checking the concentration of economic power
and reduction of economic inequalities, promotion of small and cottage
industries, rapid growth of employment opportunities and, most important of
all, a sharp reduction if not elimination of poverty within a definite
foreseeable future (30 years as per the first five-year plan launched in 1951).
Clearly such objectives are not mutually exclusive, rather, many are
interrelated. However, it is not clear whether the policy-makers of the day
had strung together these objectives in an ad hoc manner, as they sounded
nice and fitted into the presumed grand and ultimate aim of achieving a
‘socialistic pattern of society’, or whether these were indeed viewed as
serious objectives backed by adequate thinking and analysis. Three other
points that need to be considered one:
    • First, although the contours of the broad development framework
        were already quite clear by the early 1950s, these were articulated
        with much greater vigor during the second half of the 50s, especially
        through the industrial policy resolution of 1956 and the second five-
        year plan.
    • Second, the main thrusts of this framework found wide support
        among the intelligentsia (and others). However, the left perspective
        was quite emphatic on the need for comprehensive and effective land
        reforms, both to facilitate better realisation of the above thrusts and
        for other reasons such as removal of poverty. In contrast to the left
        position, the official framework, while paying lip-service to the need
        for land reforms, was quite ambivalent on this critical issue.
    • Third, the official framework represented a most decisive rejection of
        the economic ideas of Gandhiji. It is one of those ironies of history
        that the economic ideas central to the political strategy of building up
        a mass movement against British colonial rule were rendered
        irrelevant by the disciples of the great man as soon as independence
        was achieved.