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Abhinav PrakashTweet

Author: Abhinav Prakash
Publication: Thread Reader App
Date: September 3, 2020
URL:      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1301235018560225280.html

While Nehru is projected as a technology’s man, he wasn’t. He didn’t share Hindu nationalist view of likes of Malaviya of Japan style rapid industrialisation & modernisation. Unlike Gandhi, he saw big dams, industry as ‘necessary evils’ but resisted rapid technological infusion.

‘I am not anxious that everybody in India should have a motor car or, say, a washing machine or a refrigerator,’ Nehru told National Development Council 1956. Nehruvian system was for the elites & masses were mere statistics unlike Modi vision of technology easing life of masses.

In 1947, US ambassador Henry Grady, proposed to Nehru dam building project with American help. Nehru insisted that the contract not only limit the use of machines so more unskilled labourers could get jobs, but also that there be training programmes for the dam engineers.

Grady wrote Indians think American know-how can be shipped to them in sealed cases laid down at Indian ports...And they seem to prefer building dams with workers carrying dirt in baskets on their heads, and to take ten years to do it!

This is how messed up Nehru’s understanding of technology was & so was his policy. But long-term damage he did was by making ‘Indianisation’ of technology a mantra of govt policy. We see its effect in rigid & stupid insistence on tech transfer even in defence contracts. @Iyervval

Beyond small-scale tech, Nehru didn’t see need to introduce tractors, synthetic fertilizers or other capital-intensive technologies to agricultural production. He ran a top-down model resulting in few industrial wonders surrounded by sea of masses who had nothing to do with them.

But Nehru founded IIT! Founded IITs, de-emphasised primary education for the masses. Nehru wanted CDS to introduce new technology in agriculture by excluding Dalits who were/are the agrarian labourers! Foolish. Nehru pursued elitist vanity projects, not technology & change.


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