5.6          ndian  onom
     the gAnDhiAn PlAn                                       industries’.23 This was a long-drawn ideological
                                                             impasse which made it necessary to articulate the
     Espousing the spirit of the Gandhian economic
                                                             Gandhian view of planning via this plan.
     thinking, Sriman Narayan Agarwal formulated
     The Gaudhian Plan in 1944. The plan laid more           the peoPle’s PlAn
     emphasis on agriculture. Even if he referred to
     industrialisation, it was to the level of promoting     In 1945, yet another plan was formulated by the
     cottage and village-level industries, unlike the        radical humanist leader M.N. Roy, Chairman
     NPC and the Bombay Plan which supported a               of the Post-War Reconstruction Committee
     leading role for the heavy and large industries.        of Indian Trade Union. The plan was based on
     The plan articulated a ‘decentralised economic          Marxist socialism and advocated the need of
     structure’ for India with ‘self-contained villages’.    providing the people with the ‘basic necessities
                                                             of life’.24 Agricultural and industrial sectors,
          It needs to be noted here that the Gandhians
                                                             both were equally highlighted by the plan. Many
     did not agree with the views of the NPC or
                                                             economists have attributed the socialist leanings
     the Bombay Plan, particularly on issues like
                                                             in Indian planning to this plan. The common
     centralised planning, dominant role of the state in     minimum programmes of the United Front
     the economy and the emphasis on industrialisation       Government of the mid-nineties (20th century)
     being the major ones.22 For Gandhi, the                 and that of the United Progressive Alliance of
     machinery, commercialisation and centralised            2004 may also be thought to have been inspired
     state power were the curses of modern civilisation,     from the same plan. ‘Economic reforms with the
     thrust upon the Indian people by European               human face’, the slogan with which the economic
     colonialism. It was industrialism itself, Gandhi        reforms started in the early 1990s also has the
     argued, rather than the inability to industrialise,     resonance of the People’s Plan.
     which was the root cause of Indian poverty. This
     was until the 1940s that the Congress supported         the sArvoDAyA PlAn
     the above-given view of Gandhi to mobilise a
                                                             After the reports of the NPC were published
     mass movement against the colonial rule. But
                                                             and the government was set to go for the five-
     it was in the NPC that the Congress tried to
                                                             year plans, a lone blueprint for the planned
     articulate a different view on these issues, almost
                                                             development of India was formulated by the
     taking a break from Gandhi’s ideas. The very first
                                                             famous socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan—
     session of the NPC was brought to an impasse
                                                             the Sarvodaya Plan published in January 1950.
     by J.C. Kumarappa (the lone Gandhian on the             The plan drew its major inspirations from the
     15-member NPC) by questioning the authority             Gandhian techniques of constructive works by
     of the NPC to discuss plans for industrialisation.      the community and trusteeship as well as the
     He said on the occasion that the national priority      Sarvodaya concept of Acharya Vinoba Bave, the
     as adopted by the Congress was to restrict and          eminent Gandhian constructive worker. Major
     eliminate modern industrialism. The impasse was         ideas of the plan were highly similar to the
     normalised after Nehru intervened and declared          Gandhian Plan like emphasis on agriculture, agri-
     that most members of the NPC felt that large-           based small and cottage industries, self-reliance
     scale industry ought to be promoted as long as
     it did not ‘come into conflict with the cottage           23.  Partha Chatterjee, ‘Development Planning and the
                                                                    Indian Planning’, p. 275.
       22.   Dharma Kumar, The Cambridge Economic History of   24.  S.K. Ray, Indian Economy (New Delhi: Prentice Hall,
             India, p. 949.                                         1987), p. 369.