DMPQ- Discuss the challenges India faced in it’s early years after independence and also mention the strategies opted to face them.

India inherited enormous challenges like poverty, deprivation, inequality, illiteracy, underdevelopment, communalism and so on at the time of independence however, the optimist was also no lesser. Jawahar Lal Nehru’s famous speech ‘Tryst with Destiny’ on the eve of Independence reflected it. One big advantage India had was a consensus on the goals which was a result of spirit of nationalism inculcated through long freedom struggle. Another one was a relatively stable political system.

Biggest task at hand was consolidation of India and realization of dream of true ‘nationhood’. Unity of our nation was fragile and needed to be bolstered up amidst its legendry diversity of race, religion, caste, region and culture. Vision of secular India and idea of not only political freedom, but social and economic emancipation were the spirit behind.

Three pillars of Nehruvian strategy of development strategy were – planning for rapid industrial and agricultural growth, a public sector to develop strategic industries and a mixed economy. Mixed economy was preferred earlier for lack of adequate resources, but private sector working under broad framework of planning. In the long run, state were to occupy commanding heights of the economy, owning and controlling all basic industries and strategic sectors of the economy. Public sector was also expected to generate revenues in long turn for government.

Another big challenge was meeting the expectations of people who had infinite hopes from a government of ‘their own’. Universal adult franchise, lofty promises like ‘Garibi Hatao’ of Indira Gandhi in 1971 and grass root mobilization further fuelled these expectations. Rise of regional parties in 1960s further stoked the fire of expectations.

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