a limited presence in rural areas, except in
    Nonetheless, the terrible famines that had characterised British India were
done away with. The decline in per capita food availability which had
characterised the last half-century of colonial rule was arrested and even
marginally reversed. With all its limitations this has been an important
achievement. In a country with such vast poverty where even a marginal
disturbance in the food economy can cause havoc, there has been a more or
less successful avoidance of disaster even in the darkest times of terrorism
and violence; and this has been achieved not by leaving things to the market
but precisely by purposeful State intervention in the food economy.
    The inadequacy on the agricultural front came to viewed as the most
significant gap in the past effort. Consequently, the formulation of a new
strategy of agricultural development became the overriding objective. The
fourth five-year plan, launched in 1969, adopted what is popularly, known as
the ‘Green Revolution’. Thus, with the fourth plan, there is a marked shift in
development strategy from emphasis on heavy industry to pulling up
    It may be recalled that the Left opinion in India had been quite critical of
the earlier strategy for not taking up comprehensive land reforms. The
‘agriculture-first’ strategy that came into being with the fourth plan, and also
happened to be the hallmark of fifth plan, continued to negate the issue of
land reforms and focused on technological modernisation and ‘betting on the
strong’. A variety of support mechanisms including credit and price-support,
were devised to this effect. The new strategy, in spite its distributional
limitations, delivered good results, so much so that the dependence on
frequent imports of food became a thing of the past after the mid-1970s, and
the government could claim that finalIy India had become self-sufficient in
this respect.
Principles and Ideals
The foundations of India’s foreign         policy were laid during the freedom