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British and Indian Ideas of ‘Development’: Decoding Political Conventions in the Late Colonial State

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2011


What was the ‘late colonial state’ in India? Purely chronologically, it might be taken to be a period from the 1920s or the 1930s onwards; but this is with the benefit of hindsight. Most writers are in agreement that, despite the political rhetoric of British imperialism in India, it was not until the Second World War that an actual withdrawal from India was seriously contemplated by Britain, with the definite reservation that matters of imperial importance such as defence and economic interest should be controlled by Britain as far as possible. If an acceptance by the colonial power of impending decolonisation is to be the basis of such a characterisation, then it is doubtful whether there was a late colonial state at all. If, on the other hand, a difference in the forms of control and of exercise of power over the colony from earlier periods is to be the basis of the characterisation ‘late’, then perhaps there is more of a case for a use of the term ‘late colonial state’ as more than a mere chronological device.

The Late Colonial State
Copyright © Research Institute for History, Leiden University 1999

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1 Tomlinson, B.R., The Political Economy of the Raj: The Economics of Decolonisation (Cambridge 1978)Google Scholar; Dewey, Clive, ‘The End of the Imperialism of Free Trade: The Eclipse of the Lancashire Lobby and the Concession of Fiscal Autonomy to India’ in: Dewey, Clive and Hopkins, A.G. eds, The Imperial Impact: Studies in the Economic History of Africa and India (London 1978)Google Scholar.

2 Darwin, John, ‘Imperialism in Decline?’, Historical Journal (September 1980)Google Scholar; Bridge, Carl, Holding India to Empire (Delhi 1986)Google Scholar; Darwin, John, Britain and Decolonisation: The Retreat from Empire in the Post-War World (Basingstoke 1988) especially page 9CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 Report on Indian Constitutional Reforms (Calcutta 1918)Google Scholar.

4 ‘Make believe you're brave/ And the trick will take you far/ You may be as brave/ As you make believe you are’ (‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’ by Rodgers, Richard and Hammerstein, Oscar II , from The King and I (USA 1956))Google Scholar.

5 Much of this tends to focus on groups relatively isolated from the impact of colonial discursive categories, or who consciously rejected ‘Western’ incursions into their ‘culture’ – ignoring the fact that the latter case requires a clear engagement with categories such as ‘Western’ which could hardly be somehow purely Indian and therefore ‘different’.

6 See Cain, P.J. and Hopkins, A.G., British Imperialism: Crisis and Deconstruction, 1914–1990 (London 1994) chapter 11Google Scholar; Pressnell, L.S., External Economic Policy since the War I: The Post-War Financial Settlement (London 1986)Google Scholar; Moore, R.J., Making the New Commonwealth (Oxford 1987)Google Scholar; Charrier, Philip Joseph, ‘Britain, India and the Genesis of the Colombo Plan, 1945–1951’ (Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge, 1995)Google Scholar.

7 Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, ‘The Idea of Planning in India, 1930–1951’ (Unpublished PhD dissertation, Australian National University, Canberra 1985)Google Scholar.

8 Mukherjee, Aditya, ‘Indian Capitalist Class and Congress on National Planning and Public Sector, 1930–47’ in: Panikkar, K.N. ed., National and Left Movements in India (New Delhi 1980)Google Scholar

9 This is a view put forward by what seeks to be a standard text-book on the subject of Indian economic history: Tomlinson, B.R., The Economy of Modern India, 1860–1970 (Cambridge 1993) 173CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10 Rothermund, Dietmar, ‘Die Anfaenge der indischen Wirtschaftsplanung im Zweiten Welt-krieg’ in: Habluetzel, Peter, Tobler, Hans Werner and Wirz, Albert eds, Dritte Welt: Historische Praegung und politische Herausforderung: Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Rudolfvon (Wiesbaden 1983)Google Scholar.

11 Bayly, C.A., ‘Returning the British to South Asian History: The Limits of Colonial Hegemony’, South Asia XVII/2 (1994) 17Google Scholar. The general contention of this essay, that an understanding of Indian history in the colonial period requires a better understanding of British history, is one with which I agree.

12 I use the word ‘appearance’ in two senses here – ‘coming into being’ as well as lwie es aus-siehf.

13 This is not intended as a history of development policy or of influences on such policy, nor as a history of ‘economic thought’ in India; such histories can be found elsewhere – for instance in Datta, Bhabatosh, Indian Economic Thought: Twentieth Century Perspectives (New Delhi 1978)Google Scholar, Dasgupta, Ajit K., Gandhi's Economic Thought (London 1996)Google Scholar, Dasgupta, Ajit K., A History of Indian Economic Thought (London 1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and for earlier periods in Ganguli, B.N., Indian Economic Thought: Nineteenth Century Perspectives (New Delhi 1977)Google Scholar; to an extent Chandra, Bipan, The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism in India: Economic Policies of Indian National Leadership, 1880–1905 (New Delhi 1966)Google Scholar – though it claims to be a study of policies rather than economic thought – as well as in sections of Sarkar, Sumit, The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908 (New Delhi 1973)Google Scholar. Moreover, the absence in this essay of an analysis of the details of political debates, in the more conventional sense of day-to-day manoeuvres and specific problems, should not be read as an indication that such debates did not exist.

14 This was also part of the changing rhetoric of Empire for which Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India during the Second World War, considered himself a spokesman. See Amery's speeches delivered during his tour of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in 1927–1928, reprinted in Amery, L.S., The Empire in the New Era (London 1928)Google Scholar, with reference to the White Dominions; and the eventual promise of similar status for India and the rest of Britain's empire (pp x–xi).

15 Archibald Wavell, the penultimate Viceroy of India, was quite impatient with the British tendency to treat Indians like backward children; this, he felt, was outdated and not appropriate to the times. He did not, however, question the validity of the analogy; India, he wrote in his journal, could no longer be treated like a child because it was now a ‘tiresome adolescent’. Moon, Penderel ed., Wavell: The Viceroy's Journal (London 1973) 61Google Scholar, entry for 19 March 1944; and page 108, entry for 31 December 1944.

16 Visvesvaraya, M., Planned Economy for India (Bangalore City 1934) prefaceGoogle Scholar.

17 For instance, in 1933, Nehru received requests to ‘“educate” public opinion’, on ‘the economic policy (& interconnected other policies – Educational, Domestic i.e. relating to Marriage and the division or the assimilation of social work and functions between man and woman, Religious & Communal, Recreational, & Political i.e., relating to the “form” of the govt. It would be useful if you also compared or contrasted, as the case maybe, [sic] your scheme with the main ones on which the world's eyes are now fixed, Bolshevism on the one hand & Fascism-Nazism on the other.’ Babu Bhagavandas tojawaharlal Nehru, 24/9/33, Jawaharlal Nehru Papers, Nehru Memorial Library, Vol 7, f 273.

18 It would not be entirely accurate to call it laissez-faire – this never was completely so, except in economic doctrine. See Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi, ‘Laissez-faire in India’, Indian Economic and Social History Review 11/1 (January 1965)Google Scholar.

19 See Bipan Chandra, The Rise and Growth of Economic Nationalism in India; also Ganguli, B.N., Indian Economic Thought: Nineteenth Century Perspectives (Delhi 1977)Google Scholar.

20 See the early writing of Sir Visvesvaraya, M., for instance Reconstructing India (London 1920)Google Scholar, or the speeches and essays reprinted in Birla, G.D., The Path to Prosperity: A Plea for Planning (Allahabad 1950)Google Scholar.

21 The Bombay Plan, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, and the Government of India all cited the Soviet experience as an example of the great possibilities of planning – all operating within a capitalist framework. See Thakurdas, P. et al. , A Plan of Economic Development for India I & II (Bombay 1944)Google Scholar; Visvesvaraya, M., Planned Economy for India; Government of India, Second Report on Reconstruction Planning (New Delhi 1944)Google Scholar.

22 See the Congress Socialists' manifesto, reprinted in the Congress Socialist inaugural issue, 29 September 1934. See also Israel, Milton, Communications and Power (Cambridge 1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 See Markovits, Claude, Indian Business and Nationalist Politics, 1931–1939: The Indigenous Capitalist Class and the Rise of the Congress Party (Cambridge 1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Chatterji, Basudev, Trade, Tariffs and Empire: Lancashire and British Politics in India 1919–1939 (Delhi 1992)Google Scholar

24 ‘Development’ in India was related to a wide variety of problems and questions, which pointed the way to a comprehensive ‘reconstruction’ – another popular term – of Indian life. Related terms within this discursive framework had the propensity to start a free association which linked up with the wider social and moral questions implied by ‘development’ and carried these along into what were ostensibly ‘economic’ debates: ‘progress’, the need to overcome ‘backwardness’, the moral nature of nationhood. ‘Development’ in the 1930s incorporated themes which had earlier been autonomous – ‘social reform’, ‘village uplift’, ‘rural reconstruction’, ‘constructive work’; ‘cooperative farming’ and ‘cooperative credit’; ‘self-reliance’, ‘technical education’, ‘science’; ‘socialism’; improvement of the human material constituting the ‘nation’; ‘nation-building’ – many of which had strong extra-economic connotations. The term ‘development’ itself – in the sense of evolution, and in India in the sense of developing institutions – had been in use at least since the end of the nineteenth century. From the 1930s, with hopes of a newly-won independence emerging, ‘development’ as ‘improvement’ or ‘progress’ was wholeheartedly embraced within the comprehensive framework implied by ‘planning’ – the means by which ‘development’ could be consciously aimed at. The all-encompassing framework which ‘planning’ implied was extremely important; it could thus serve as an umbrella category in which the various ideas surrounding ‘development’ could be described and discussed. ‘Development’ and ‘planning’ in the 1930s, when used without the qualifying adjective ‘economic’, tended to mean far more than ‘economic development’ or ‘economic planning’.

25 Sir Visvesvaraya, M., Nation Building: A Five-Year Plan for the Provinces (Bangalore City 1937) 34Google Scholar.

26 Kumarappa, J.C., Why the Village Movement? (Wardha 1936)Google Scholar, but see also Mukerjee, Radhakamal, The Foundations of Indian Economics (London 1916)Google Scholar.

27 On Schuster's ‘Keynesianism’, liberalism, and closeness to labour circles see Schuster, George, Private Work and Public Causes: A Personal Record, 1881–1978 (Cowbridge 1979) 3941Google Scholar; Tomlinson, , The Political Economy of the Raj, 8691Google Scholar; on Amery's views on Empire and imperial integration see Amery, L.S., The Forward View (London 1935)Google Scholar; see also Louis, William Roger, In the Name of God, Go! Leo Amery and the British Empire in the Age of Churchill (New York 1992)Google Scholar. On the Round Table group, see Madden, A.F. and Fieldhouse, David eds, Oxford and the Idea of the Commonwealth (London 1982)Google Scholar.

28 During the First World War there had been necessary departures from the ordinary norms of balanced budgets and a non-interventionist government; food rationing and price controls had come into operation from 1915. But this was considered an exceptional situation, and controls were dismantled after the War. This was considered both necessary and desirable even by the economic heretics of later years. See Clarke, Peter, The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936 (New York 1988) 1417Google Scholar.

29 In this period, it has been pointed out, governments were operating most often without understanding what they were doing, on the basis of trial and error. See Hobsbawm, Eric, Industry and Empire (Harmondsworth 1969) 179Google Scholar. A few people advocated remedies that were outside this framework of ignorance; see Kindleberger, Charles, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (Harmondsworth 1987) 7Google Scholar. The ‘Keynesian Revolution’, as it is now known, was a long time in the making, facing the opposition of the pillars of the British financial establishment, the Treasury and the Bank of England. See Clarke, The Keynesian Revolution in the Making, 1924–1936. This was the formative period of ‘Keynesianism’, some of the ideas of which were being tentatively tried out, arrived at independently of Keynes, in a number of countries, such as the unbalanced budget in the New Deal. The experiences that went into the General Theory were probably at least pardy gleaned by Keynes through his experiences of the time, and ‘Keynesian’ ideas, despite opposition, were beginning to get a hearing in British debates. Yet apart from Keynesian ideas, the examples of the New Deal in the USA, Soviet Planning, and Fascist and later Nazi experiments in economic management became available through the 1930s. These were intimately connected with the ideological positions they represented, and if measures which had precedents in any one system were advocated as emulable examples, it was necessary to delineate adherence to or divergence from the ideological positions they represented, and the divergence from them. The easiest way of avoiding the issue of ideology was to declare a position on the basis of economic principles alone, thereby apparently defusing the debates of their political content and appealing to a supposedly neutral arbitre in the rational science of economics.

30 See Drummond, Ian, British Economic Policy and the Empire, 1919–1939 (London 1972) 89120Google Scholar, and on India: 98–99; Drummond's claim, elsewhere, that British politicians did not have ‘exploitation in mind’ because they were primarily preoccupied with the Dominions, where they lacked the political power to impose policies, and ‘to a much lesser extent with India, where in economic policy-making they systematically abstained from using what little political power they still posssessed’ – Drummond, Ian, Imperial Economic Policy, 1917–39: Studies in Expansion and Protection (London 1974) 422CrossRefGoogle Scholar – has been systematically destroyed by subsequent work, notably Basudev Chatterji, Trade, Tariffs and Empire, which demonstrates that the rhetoric of British powerlessness vis-a-vis India was useful in conceding the appearance of fiscal autonomy and an independent tariff policy, while in practice policies were still dictated by overall imperial interests as understood by London – as h e puts it, disagreements between Delhi and London were ‘disagreements regarding how best British interests were to be preserved’ rather than disagreements based on protecting Indian interests (page 23).

31 Gupta, Partha Sarathi, Imperialism and the British Labour Movement, 1914–1964 (London 1975) 60CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kindleberger, , The World in Depression, 126Google Scholar.

32 Trade Union Congress (TUC) Annual Report 1932, 220–222, quoted in Gupta, , Imperialism and the British Labour Movement, 234235Google Scholar.

33 Philip Snowden, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour government of 1929 and of the National Government that followed, was a dedicated free trader representing the liberal side of the Labour party, and consequently inclined to deal with the situation by deflationist policies; he resigned on the issue of tariffs in 1932. See Kindleberger, , The World in Depression, 126Google Scholar; Drummond, , Imperial Economic Policy 1917–1939, 112, 145, 151–177Google Scholar; Gupta, , Imperialism and the British Labour Movement, 156157Google Scholar; Clarke, Peter, Hope and Glory: Britain, 1900–1990 (Harmondsworth 1996) 175177Google Scholar.

34 See L.S. Amery, The Empire in the New Era Idem, The Forward View (London 1935)Google Scholar; Idem, India and Freedom (Oxford 1942)Google Scholar. See also Amery's memoirs: Amery, L.S., My Political Life III: The Unforgiving Years 1929–1940 (London 1955)Google Scholar.

35 For an example of the Indian case, see Rothermund, Dietmar, India in the Great Depression, 1929–1939 (Delhi 1992)Google Scholar; Idem, The Great Depression and British Financial Policy in India, 1929–1934’, Indian Economic and Social History Review 17/4 (1981)Google Scholar and Indian Economic and Social History Review 18/1 (1981)Google Scholar. For an account of the Bank of England's attempt to ensure control of Indian financial policy through the soon-to-be-formed Reserve Bank of India, see Balachandran, G., ‘Towards a “Hindoo Marriage”: Anglo-Indian Monetary Relations in Interwar India, 1917–35’, Modern Asian Studies 28/3 (1994)Google Scholar.

36 Schuster, , Private Work and Public Causes, 114Google Scholar; Rothermund, , India in the Great Depression, 4244Google Scholar; Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, ‘An Early British Initiative in the Genesis of Indian Planning’, Economic and Political Weekly XXII/5 (31 January 1987)Google Scholar.

37 Schuster, George, ‘Empire Trade Before and After Ottawa: A Preliminary Reconnaissance’, The Economist: Special Supplement (3 November 1934)Google Scholar; Schuster, George, ‘Indian Economic Life: Past Trends and Future ProspectsJournal of the Royal Society of Arts LXXXIII (31 May 1935)Google Scholar, address delivered 8 March 1935; ‘Note on Economic Policy’, National Archives of India: Finance Department File No: 15-I-F, 1930.

38 On questions of Imperial Preference and India, see Rothermund, , India in the Great Depression, 168174Google Scholar; see also Chatterji, Basudev, ‘Business and Politics in the 1930s: Lancashire and the Making of the Indo-British Trade Agreement, 1939’, Modern Asian Studies 15/3 (1985)Google Scholar.

39 Schuster, ‘Empire Trade’. Also Idem, ‘Indian Economic Life’, 662, 655–656.

40 Schuster, , ‘Indian Economic Life’, 646647Google Scholar.

41 Ibid., 654.

42 Ibid., 642: ‘I do not wish […] to suggest that the masses in India, even though they are so poor, are necessarily more unhappy than in the rest of the world. I believe in fact that even as things are, more absolute and intense human misery prevails among parts of the world in highly industrialised countries which have suddenly lost all chances of employment owing to the economic crisis which has cut away the foundations on which their life depended. The very simplicity of Indian life and its less materialistic background have saved the people some of the misery which has fallen on other countries.’

43 Schuster, , ‘Indian Economic Life’, 664Google Scholar. Schuster recommended three objectives for Indian policy: (1) maintenance and development of export markets for ‘those commodities in the production of which India has special natural advantages’; (2) raising of standards of living so as to provide new internal demand for the products of her rural population; (3) ‘the development of industrial activities as an important means towards achieving the second objective […]’ This involved economic planning, which he urged, was the logical conclusion to the Government of India's existing policies: ‘Indian Economic Life’, 662.

44 Grigg to Snowden, 13 May 1935, Grigg Papers, PJGG 2/19/2(d).

45 Grigg to Chamberlain, 17 August 1934, Grigg Papers, PJGG 2/2/1.

46 See Bhattacharya, Sanjoy and Zachariah, Benjamin, ‘“A Great Destiny”: The British Colonial State and the Advertisement of Post-War Reconstruction in India, 1942–45’, South Asia Research 19/1 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

47 Hatch, D. Spencer, Up from Poverty in Rural India (Oxford 1932) ixGoogle Scholar.

48 Hatch, , Upfrom Poverty in Rural India, xiGoogle Scholar; emphasis in original. Hatch was associated with the YMCA's rural reconstruction projects in South India.

49 Hatch, D. Spencer, Further Upward in Rural India (Madras 1938) 7Google Scholar.

50 Hatch, , Further Upward in Rural India, viiGoogle Scholar. Hatch's quest was undertaken ‘through Indian primeval jungle armed only with a pocket camera, a New Testament, and an inquiring mind, accompanied by my wife who was the first woman of her race to walk that trail’.

51 Francis Younghusband, Chairman, Indian Village Welfare Association, preface to Strickland, C.F., Indian Village Welfare Association: Review of Rural Welfare Activities in India, 1932 (London 1932) 5Google Scholar.

52 This has been noted before – see Dewey, Clive, Anglo-Indian Attitudes: The Mind of the Indian Civil Service (London 1993)Google Scholar; see also Studdert-Kennedy, Gerald, British Christians, Indian Nationalists and the Raj (Delhi 1991), on Brayne: 135142Google Scholar. Of the non-official initiatives which attracted favourable attention, Sriniketan was one which had a certain attraction for Christians – C.F. Andrews, for instance, was associated with it, and Leonard Elmhirst was a former student of theology who had almost entered the church: Dasgupta, , A Poet and a Plan (Calcutta 1962) 14Google Scholar. J.C. Kumarappa, the Secretary of Gandhi's All-India Village Industries Association (AIVLA), and the ATVIA's most effective organiser and propagandist, was also a Christian and had been an accomplished lay preacher before joining the Gandhians, in which capacity he continued to put his scriptural knowledge to good use: he combined a Christian theological world view with Gandhi's teachings to articulate a philosophy of the Gandhian village movement.

53 Studdert-Kennedy, , British Christians, 135Google Scholar.

54 See for instance Malcolm Darling, Finance Commissioner, Lahore, to Viceroy-designate, Linlithgow, 10/1/1936, ff 83–86, Item 6, Box LXI, Darling Papers, Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS), Cambridge. Darling suggested the government set up a fund to finance the cooperative movement, and consult ‘a few Indians with strong rural ties’ in this connection. ‘It might also be politic’, he wrote, ‘to state that any organisation engaged in bona fide village welfare work may receive assistance from the fund. This would conciliate the Congress party, for they would take it as a hint that Gandhi's organisation would get assistance, as I think it should, if it works on non-political lines.’ George Schuster's approval of Gandhi's anti-industrialisation position has already been noted.

55 Datta was national secretary of the YMCA for India, Burma and Ceylon from 1919 to 1927, and represented the Indian Christians in the Indian Legislative Assembly from 1924 to 1926 and at the Round Table Conference in 1931. He was also associated with the Forman Christian College, Lahore, from 1909, as lecturer in history and biology, and from 1932 to 1942 as Principal. See biographical note, India Office Records (IOR), British Library, London: MSS. EUR.F.178.

56 Gandhi to Datta, 14/12/1934, circular letter, IOR: MSS.EUR.F.178/30, f 56, and Datta's acceptance letter to Gandhi, 17/12/1934, IOR: MSS.EUR.F.178/30, f 67.

57 The importance of the idea of India being a country of ‘little republics’ has been noted before; the argument was explicitly stated by Charles Metcalfe in the debates over the East India Company's Charter in 1854, and became an influential part of arguments widely divergent in content and intention. See Matthai, John, Village Government in British India (London 1913)Google Scholar; Sidney Webb, ‘Preface’ in: John Matthai, Village Government in British India; Marx, Karl, ‘The British Rule in India’, New York Daily Tribune, 25 June 1853Google Scholar (written during the debates in the Commons on the fate of the East India Company's charter), reprinted in Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, On Colonialism (Moscow 1959)Google Scholar; M.K Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, bibliography; Maine, Henry, Ancient Law (London 1861)Google Scholar; Idem, Village Communities of the East and West (London 1871)Google Scholar. On Maine, see Burrow, J.B., Evolution and Society (Cambridge 1966) 137178Google Scholar; on Gandhi (and his admiration of Tolstoy), see Anthony Parel, ‘Introduction’ to Gandhi, M.K., Hind Swaraj and Other Writings (Cambridge 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Dumont, Louis, ‘The “Village Community” from Munro to Maine’, Contributions to Indian Sociology ix (1966)Google Scholar; Dewey, Clive, ‘Images of the Village Community: A Study in Anglo-Indian Ideology’, Modern Asian Studies 6/2 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

58 Clive Dewey has written at some length on the assumptions, methods and failure of Brayne's experiments. Dewey, Anglo-Indian Attitudes.

59 Yadav, B.R., Village Uplift Scheme Introduced in Agra District (Agra, no date but c. 1932) 3Google Scholar.

60 Ibid., 3.

61 Ibid., 4–25. Occasionally the rhetoric of intended speeches (there is no indication in these records as to their impact when delivered, or if indeed similar speeches were actually delivered) attempted to approach the poetic, but succeeded only in indicating the lack of poetic instincts of the bureaucracy:

Why are there no flowers in your villages and your homes? Flowers bloom all the year round in India but there are none in our villages. God gave flowers to mankind to make them bright and happy. You will never have flowers till you humanise the women.

What are the two prettiest things in the world? Clean, healthy, happy children and flowers. Both these grow in the home. Woman is the partner responsible for the home, so train the woman that she may learn how to produce flowers and keep your children clean, healthy and happy.

Yadav, , Village Uplift Scheme Introduced in Agra District, 25Google Scholar. The confusion of the possessive pronouns ‘your’ and ‘our’ in this passage, and the role prescribed for ‘humanised’ women is worth noting in this connection.

62 For instance in 1936, when Darling was Finance Commissioner, Lahore, he wrote to the new Viceroy-designate, Lord Linlithgow, with the outlines of a proposal which he said he had been attempting to pursue for some time. This was to the effect that before the new constitution was inaugurated, a gesture of goodwill would be helpful in order to help the ‘experiment’ succeed. To this end, ‘England should return to India as a free gift the £100 million given her during the great war, or at least as much as has actually been paid: the sum, I am told, is £70 million’. The annual interest on this amount, about three crores of rupees, should ‘be devoted to the improvement of the Indian peasant’. Darling referred to the general feeling ‘amongst thoughtful Indians’ that not nearly enough had been done by the Government in the past to improve the condition of the peasantry. There was a strong desire to remedy this. ‘Gandhi's village campaign is evidence of this in the political sphere’; Sir John Anderson in Bengal had expressed his determination to do something to improve the Bengal peasantry's condition and had been praised for this, and Sir James Grigg's Budget announcement of a sum of one crore rupees for the strengthening of the co-operative system had ‘excited an interest and satisfaction quite disproportionate to the size of the grant’. Darling urged that ‘as the administrative links between the two countries are loosed [sic], good will will become a more and more valuable asset’, and that the apparently large sum of £70 million should be viewed as well spent in this context. The best effect, he added, would be obtained if the announcement was made when the Constitution was launched, and kept secret until then. Darling added a more directly remunerative consideration: ‘If the village standard of living can be appreciably raised over a wide area, considering the millions involved, this might have a most beneficial effect upon British exports. From this point of view alone, the gift might well prove a first class investment’. Darling to Linlithgow, 10/1/1936, Box LXI, Item 6, ff 83–86, Darling Papers, CSAS. (Schuster and Amery, it might be recalled, used a similar line of reasoning). Linlithgow replied that this was now the Provincial governments' concern; that the British Treasury would be unwilling to provide the money, but that he had been thinking of giving ministers under the new system ‘a little financial rope in order that they may justify themselves before their constituents’; if any money should become available, ‘at least a part of it might find its way to the rural population’. Linlithgow to Darling, 27/1/1936, Box LXI, Item 6, ff 87–88, Darling Papers, CSAS.

63 Darling was a close friend of E.M. Forster's and at the fringes of the Bloomsbury set. Forster spent some years in India with Darling. See Dewey, Anglo-Indian Attitudes.

64 Darling Papers, CSAS, Box 1, 28.7, ‘Memo, of talk with Keynes (8 February 1934)’. The General Theory was published in 1936.

65 Darling, M., Wisdom and Waste in the Punjab Village (Oxford 1934) 340, 342344Google Scholar.

66 Darling, M., Rusticus Loquitur, or the Old Light and the New in the Punjab Village (Oxford 1930) 332, 334, 336Google Scholar. See also Darling, Malcolm, ‘The Peasant Strength of India’, Asia Magazine (March 1941) 120Google Scholar, where he points to the dispossession of landlords as a distinct possibility.

67 Tawney, R.H., Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (first published London, 1926Google Scholar; origining in the Holland Memorial lectures at King's College, London, in 1922). Darling presumably read the 1926 edition; he cites pages 31 and 39. Tawney himself drew on the work of Max Weber, which according to him was not then widely known in the English-speaking world: Tawney, , Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (Harmondsworth 1977) ix–xGoogle Scholar, reprint of Tawney's Preface to the 1937 edition.

68 Darling, Malcolm, ‘Presidential Address on “The Relation of Economics to Ethics”’, Papers Read and Discussed at the Eleventh Conference of the Indian Economic Association held at Lucknow (January 1928)Google Scholar, Indian Journal of Economics: Conference Number VIII/3 (January 1928) 477490Google Scholar.

69 Darling, , ‘The Relation of Economics to Ethics’, 492495Google Scholar; Keynes, J.M., A Short View of Russia (1925) 25Google Scholar, quoted in Darling, , ‘The Relation of Economics to Ethics’, 492Google Scholar.

70 Darling, , ‘The Relation of Economics to Ethics’, 496Google Scholar.

71 Darling did not see himself as an opponent of capitalism. His criticisms of capitalism were far from systematic, and informed by a general sense of the injustice of starvation and a faith in the moral values inculcated by Cupertino. On Marxism he appears not to have found it necessary to disagree with Keynes, who ‘was not a Marxian – he found it impossible to read Marx. A friend had marked for him passages of importance, but they were so dull and so turgidly involved in the economic doctrines of 1840 that he had found it quite impossible to get through Das Capital [sic]. He doubted whether many Communists had read him. When I said that it sounded as dull as the Koran, he agreed that it was just that’. Darling, ‘Memo of Talk with Keynes (8 February 1934)’, Item 28.7, Box I, Darling Papers, CSAS. It is unclear from this passage as to whether either Keynes or Darling had read the Koran.

72 Item 28.6, Box 1, Darling Papers, CSAS; Darling, Malcolm, At Freedom's Door (London 1949)Google Scholar.

73 Item 28.6, Box 1, Darling Papers, CSAS, emphasis mine.

74 Linlithgow to Darling, 13/3/1936, ff 89–90, Item 6, Box LXI, Darling Papers, CSAS.

75 '[…] at the first possible opportunity a small committee of educational experts should be sent to Russia to learn the secret of this notable achievement [in achieving high rates of literacy] and to guage how far Russian methods can be applied with advantage in India'. Sir Darling, Malcolm, ‘The Indian Peasant in the Modern World’, Asiatic Review XXXVIII/133 (January 1942)Google Scholar.

76 Darling, Malcolm, ‘The Indian Village and Democracy’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts XCI (6 August 1943) 493Google Scholar.

77 Moon, Penderel, Strangers in India (London 1944)Google Scholar.

78 IOR: MSS.EUR.F.230/47, f 4.

79 Moon, , Strangers in India, 43Google Scholar.

80 The Colombo Plan declared that ‘the vital interests of the countries of South and South East Asia, as of the rest of the world, require the restoration of the area to its key position in world trade’: The Colombo Plan for Co-operative Economic Development in South and South-East Asia: Report by the Commonwealth Consultative Committee, London, September-October 1950 (London 1950) 2Google Scholar. For details of post-war economic policy, see Cain, and Hopkins, , British Imperialism: Crisis and Deconstruction, chapter 11Google Scholar; Pressnell, External Economic Policy Since the War I; on the politics of the Colombo Plan see Philip Joseph Charrier, ‘Britain, India and the Genesis of the Colombo Plan, 1945–1951’.

81 See Jayaprakash Narayan's statement of objectives and strategy on behalf of the CSP, published in a book aimed at Congress workers: Narayan, Jayaprakash, Why Socialism? (Benares 1936)Google Scholar.

82 Narayan, , Why Socialism?, 154160Google Scholar.

83 Ibid., 136, 143.

84 Mitra, Amarendra Prasad, ‘The Communal Problem and the National Movement’, Congress Socialist 1/1 (Saturday 29 September 1934) 6Google Scholar. He characterised the Congress as a ‘Hindu bourgeois party’; such unities as were stressed by Congress did not exist as common between Hindus and Muslims, alienating the Muslim bourgeoisie, and leading to ‘Muslim national idealism’, 6–7.

85 The Congress Working Committee or the All-India Congress Committee.

86 This route has been traced for Jawaharlal Nehru, the most influential of the ‘socialists’ in mainstream Congress politics, from his most radical phase in the mid-1930s, ‘almost a scientific socialist’ (Chandra, Bipan, ‘Jawaharlal Nehru and the Capitalist Class, 1936’, Economic and Political Weekly X/33–35 (August 1975))Google Scholarto a commitment to ‘development’ with most of the socialism left out. (Chatterjee, Partha, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse? (London 1986)Google Scholar; and at a more political level, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, ‘The Idea of Planning in India’). Nehru, it might be added, was considered one of theirs by the CSP, although he never joined them and on many a crucial issue deserted the Left. See Jayaprakash Narayan, Why Socialism?. For a good assessment of Nehru‘s tendency to accept the position advocated by the Congress Right due to his adoption of Gandhi as a father figure, see Brecher, Michael, Nehru: A Political Biography (London 1959)Google Scholar. The Indian left seemed to maintain a romantic relationship with Nehru, convinced of his good intentions: ‘He was our beautiful but ineffectual angel, beating his luminous wings largely in vain’ (Mukerjee, Hiren, The Gentle Colossus (Delhi 1986) 222223)Google Scholar. Bishweshwar P. Sinha, member of the CSP, traced his own path to socialism through Bertrand Russell, Harold Laski, J.A. Hobson and G.D.H. Cole and his attraction to the ideas of the Fabian Society; but these ideas ‘proved too tame for an Indian who had played with fire in India’. Sinha, a former Gandhian, believed that Gandhi's essentially religious appeal had to be replaced with a more realist approach; Gandhi's ‘rural romanticism’, he accepted, had ‘a certain purificatory value for the higher and middle classes, but they leave the masses cold’. After his Fabian phase he was a supporter of the ILP platform of James Maxton and Fenner Brockway – ‘a middle path between Labour Party gradualism and communist catastrophe’, this yielding to a position of greater tolerance for communists and a united front. ‘Why I am a Congress Socialist’ – one of a series of articles of the same title – Congress Socialist (10 March 1935) 5–6. It is interesting that he speaks of the communists in terms of tolerance. This foreshadowed later debates in the CSP when it was felt that the Communists were taking over the CSP (the Communist Party, then oudawed, was operating through the CSP as members). This caused some consternation as far as some members of the CSP were concerned; the key arguments were that communists were loyal to the USSR at the expense of Indian interests, or for those who were not Marxists such as Masani, the feeling that they were being marginalised in their own party. See Congress Socialist; also Masani, Minoo, Bliss Was It in That Dawn… (New Delhi 1977)Google Scholar. Minoo Masani, who more than any other socialist travelled the road back determinedly in the opposite direction, remembers being influenced in his teens by the writings of H.G. Wells and Bernard Shaw; and was ‘greatly moved by that anthology of the literature of protest through the centuries put together by Upton Sinclair, The Cry for Justice'; Masani, , Bliss Was It in That Dawn…, 11Google Scholar. He was later a student at the London School of Economics (LSE).

87 For instance the Modern Review and the Prabashi in Bengal.

88 One of the stronger advocates of ‘modern’ solutions to problems of Indian development was the journal Science and Culture (‘A MonthlyJournal of Natural and Cultural Sciences’), published from Calcutta, founded and edited by Professor Meghnad Saha. Scientists subscribed to it (see Bhatnagar to Saha, 12 December 1935, Meghnad Saha papers, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NML), New Delhi, correspondence with S.S. Bhatnagar); but among its supporters could be ranked other middle-class intellectuals; Shyama Prasad Mookerjee wrote to Saha in 1936, ‘It will be a great pity if Science and Culture has to be discontinued for want of funds and Bengali enterprise. We must devise a way out of this possibility’. S.P. Mookerjee to Saha, 28 October 1936, Meghnad Saha papers, NML, correspondence with S.P. Mookerjee.

89 Meghnad Saha, Presidency College, Calcutta, and Imperial College, London, physicist, author of a scheme to dam the River Damodar, member, from 1938, of the Congress' National Planning Committee; See Ray, Ravindra Chandra, Colonial Economy: Nationalists' Response (Varanasi 1996) 74Google Scholar. P.C. Mahalanobis, Presidency College, Calcutta and King's College, Cambridge, physicist-turned-mathematician-turned-physicist-turned-statistician, both close associates of Satyendranath Bose, Einstein's sometime collaborator. See Rudra, Ashok, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis: A Biography (Delhi 1996)Google Scholar.

90 A.C. Mukhopadhyay, ‘A Brief Account of PCM's Work on Meteorology and Flood Control and Irrigation’ in: Rudra, Ashok, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis: A Biography, 160Google Scholar.

91 He wrote to Nehru in 1940 suggesting that he examined all the reports of the National Planning Committee from a ‘purely statistical point of view’. Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, ‘The Idea of Planning in India’, 118Google Scholar. See also Zachariah, Benjamin, ‘The Development of Professor Mahalanobis’, Economy and Society 26/3 (August 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

92 See Visvesvaraya, M., Reconstructing India (London 1920)Google Scholar; Planned Economy for India (Banga-lore City 1934)Google Scholar; Memoirs of My Working Life (Bombay 1951)Google Scholar; see also the extensive press clippings of matters related to his career kept by Visvesvaraya, in the Visvesvaraya papers, Microfilm, NML.

93 Although this was strongly argued by Science and Culture – as well as by Visvesvaraya in all his speeches and writings (see Visvesvaraya papers, NML, Microfilm) – there was also a sense that the connection between science and technology or industrial research could be pushed to extreme lengths. In 1940 Meghnad Saha wrote to his fellow scientist S.S. Bhatnagar, in connection with the proposed Scientific and Industrial Research Board to be set up by the Government, that though such a Board was necessary and in fact long overdue, it was necessary to make a distinction between scientific research and industrial research to avoid disappointing the public or inviting Government accusations of making money. He cited the experience of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, as an example, stated that many industries that needed setting up needed protection, not research, and added, ‘I, as a scientific man [sic], do not wish to take upon myself the responsibility for which I am not fitted. Let it be thrown on the political and industrial leaders.' Saha to Bhatnagar, 29 March 1940, Meghnad Saha papers, NML, correspondence with S.S. Bhatnagar, f 7. Saha made the same point in writing to the Government: Saha to Ramaswami Mudaliar, 20 March 1940, Meghnad Saha papers, NML, correspondence with Ramaswami Mudaliar, ff 7–11.

94 Jawaharlal Nehru's message to the Indian Science Congress' Session, Silver Jubilee, Science and Culture III/7 (January 1938) 350Google Scholar.

95 See Congress Socialist. 96 See Nandy, Ashis, Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists (Delhi 1995)Google Scholar; Sarkar, Sumit, The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 1903–1908 (Calcutta 1973)Google Scholar; Raina, Dhruv and Habib, S. Man, ‘Bhadralok Perceptions of Science, Technology and Cultural Nationalism’, Indian Economic and Social History Review 32/1 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; The Unfolding of an Engagement: The Dawn on Science, Technical Education and Industrialisation’, Studies in History 9/1 (January-June 1993)Google Scholar.

97 Raina, and Habib, , ‘Bhadralok Perceptions’, 106, 114Google Scholar.

98 Of Bengal Chemicals and Swadeshi fame, a larger-than-life figure who became a major inspiration behind Indian Science. P.C. Ray was an alumnus of Presidency College, Calcutta, and joined the staff of its Chemistry Department after returning from Edinburgh with a D.Sc. in 1889. He established a strong tradition of research in Chemistry at the College (during the period 1889–1916, seventy-seven original research papers were published by him and his co-workers). In the Swadeshi period he founded the Bengal Chemicals Swadeshi Works, as an exemplar of the possibilities of Indian entrepreneurship.

99 Ray, Prafulla Chandra, The History of Hindu Chemistry (Two volumes, Calcutta 1902 and 1908)Google Scholar. The influence of P.C. Ray was acknowledged by S.S. Bhatnagar in a letter to Meghnad Saha: ‘the guiding spirit invisibly working within me has been Sir P.C. Ray’. He asks Saha to convey this to Ray – T think it will please him to know that at least one amongst his chemical grand-children confesses where the source of inspiration lies hidden'. Bhatnagar to Saha, 13 October 1934, from University Chemical Laboratories, Lahore, Meghnad Saha papers, NML, correspondence with S.S. Bhatnagar, f 1.

100 Seal, Brajendranath, The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus (London 1915). 101Google ScholarMahalanobis' own acknowledgement of this debt is cited by his biographer: Rudra, Ashok, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis: A Biography (Delhi 1996)Google Scholar.

102 The universal of this dynamic – a downtrodden group's need for legitimating criteria, its escape from negative placings of itself- the scientist as scientist, not as native, Jew or Negro – has been discussed in different contexts. Frantz Fanon has made this argument about the tension between a (universal) metropolitan education and the inescapable particularities of ‘negritude’ – see Fanon, Frantz, Black Skin, White Masks (London 1980)Google Scholar. The argument about tension between the Jew as a practitioner of science, claiming inclusion within the Christian/Aryan environment, and the Jew as Jew despite this claim, both excluded and excluding himself, has also been made: see for instance Gilman, Sander L., Freud, Race and Gender (Princeton 1993)Google Scholar. These questions are resolved in different ways by different commentators thereon; but this is not the place for me to enter into a discussion on the relative merits of these resolutions. 103 Ashis Nandy puts it strongly: “[…] modern science which, though overtly universal, had come to acquire an essentially western culture over the previous three hundred years’; in a colonial society such associations ‘were bound to make science a symbol of western intrusion’, Nandy, Ashis, Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists (Delhi 1995) 19Google Scholar. This is of course too strong a formulation, reflecting Nandy's own agreement with strongly ‘culturalist’ positions. (An interesting shift in meaning of the term ‘culturalist’ has come about over the last fifteen or so years; from being derogatorily applied to deviant Marxists to being happily accepted by defenders of essentialised ‘traditions’.) 104 Initially, the importance of Science teaching had been strongly linked to inculcating modern values in the Indian. Modernity was linked, in the colonial project as well as in much of Indian resistance to that project, to an attempt to impose ‘Western’ values on Indian society. In this connection see the debates surrounding the establishment of the Hindu College in Calcutta, and subsequently of the Presidency College of Bengal; and the strong emphasis on the teaching of Science therein; for the highlighting of this argument, see Zachariah, Benjamin, Chakrabarty, Subhas Ranjan and Ray, Rajat Kanta, ‘Presidency College: An Unfinished History’ in: Hasan, Mushirul ed., Knowledge, Power and Politics: Educational Institutions in India (New Delhi 1998)Google Scholar; see especially my sections on the Hindu College and on the relevance of the teaching of science.

105 Saha, Meghnad, ‘Editorial’, Science and Culture TV/10 (April 1939) 535Google Scholar.

106 In 1930, Gyan Chand, economist from Patna University, and later closely associated with Indian development planning as an admirer of China, put the issue squarely before his readership: ‘India's political freedom […] cannot come to us as a gift of the gods. No nation deserves to be free without strenuous exertion or great sacrifices […] we should have a right sense of values […] the leaders of national life have to cultivate, in some measure, the quality of seers and look ahead for inspiration.’ Chand, Gyan, Essentials of Federal Finance (Oxford 1930) 1Google Scholar. Gyan Chand's footnotes are full of Harold Laski, G.D.H. Cole and H.G. Wells, as well as British constitutionalists like Bryce and Dicey.

107 Sillani, Tomaso, What is Fascism and Why? (Rome 1931)Google Scholarquoted in Visvesvaraya, , Planned Economy for India, 260Google Scholar.

108 Visvesvaraya, , Planned Economy for India, 203, 205, 263265Google Scholar.

109 In the same year he wrote to Gandhi, ‘I feel that in this machine age, we should not hesitate, except in temporary situations, to utilise mechanical power to the utmost limit that circumstances permit […] I am enclosing an extract from a speech by the Russian leader J. Stalin […]’. Visvesvaraya to Gandhi, 20 November 1934. This was in response t o Gandhi's request to him to be one of the advisers to the All-India Village Industries Association in matters in which he possessed ‘special knowledge’: Gandhi to Visvesvaraya, 15 November 1934. Visvesvaraya said that he was willing to advise the ATVIA without being officially involved with it. He objected to Gandhi's views on machinery, and said that he would send him a copy of his book Planned Economy for India. Gandhi's reply acknowledged that the two held ‘perhaps diametrically opposite views’ and that the excerpt from Stalin had no appeal for him. He nonetheless acknowledged Visvesvaraya's ‘love of the country’. Gandhi to Visvesvaraya 23 November 1934. These letters are reprinted in Krishnamurthy, Shakuntala, Dr Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (Bangalore 1980) 6163Google Scholar.

110 National Planning Committee (NPC) Report, 207–208. 111 NPC Report, 148–149.

112 Ibid., 114. At this time, Nehru was in Europe, establishing his solidarity with anti-Fascist and socialist forces. See his regular contributions to the National Herald in that year.

113 NPC Report, 10, also cited above. Emphasis added.

114 This was the phrase used by Subhas Chandra Bose in an interview with Rajani Palme Dutt of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1938. Subhas Bose, quoted from ‘Report of an interview with R. Palme Dutt, published in the Daily Worker, London, 24 January 1938’, reprinted in: Bose, Sisir Kumar and Bose, Sugata eds, Netaji Collected Works 9Google Scholar: Congress President: Speeches, Articles and Letters, January 1938 - May 1939 1995) 2Google Scholar.

115 On the history of eugenics and its uses in political argument from the turn of the century onwards, see Searle, G.R., Eugenics and Politics in Britain, 1900–1914 (Leyden 1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kevles, Daniel J., In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (New York 1985)Google Scholar; Pickens, Donald K., Eugenics and the Progressives (Nashville 1968) 336Google Scholar, and especially 23–36 on Francis Galton, the man who coined the term and was regarded as the founder of eugenics; on liberal and socialist interpretations of eugenics, see Hasian, Marouf Arif Jr, The Rhetoric of Eugenics in Anglo-American Thought (Athens 1996) 112138Google Scholar.For an account of the German case, not limited to the Nazi period, see Weindling, Paul, Health, Race and German Politics between National Unification and Nazism bridge 1989)Google Scholar; on eugenics outside Europe and North America, see Stepan, Nancy Leys, The Hour of Eugenics': Race, Gender and Nation in Latin America (Ithaca 1991)Google Scholar.

On the continued respectability of eugenics in the 1930s, see Third International Conference on Eugenics, 1932, A Decade of Progress in Eugenics (Baltimore 1934Google Scholar; reprinted New York 1984). Progressives were well represented: one participant argued that ‘fundamental economic forces’ were at work which were ‘quite beyond the control of us as eugenists’; that unfortunately ‘Galton lived too early to appreciate the principle brought out by Marx’ (Muller, H.J. of the University of Texas, ‘The Dominance of Economics over Eugenics’, 139Google Scholar); but nonetheless saw a role for eugenics, in ‘scientific birth control’ and ‘the actual increase of those having the more valuable genes’, to which ends economic obstacles had to be removed (page 140). He called for a ‘revolutionary attitude towards women’ and asked, ‘Do male eugenists suffer from the illusion that most intelligent women love to be pregnant […]?’ (pages 140–141). The economic system, he argued, ‘acts to foil the true purposes ofeugenics’ by ‘masking the genetic constitution of individuals and of vast groups through the gross inequalities of material and social environment which it imposes on them’ (page 141). But he agreed, ‘That imbeciles should be sterilised is of course unquestionable’ (page 138).

Of particular interest in the Indian context is a paper by Roseboom, Henry E. and Dover, Cedric, ‘The Eurasian Community as a Eugenic Problem’, which cites P.C. Mahala-nobis' 1922 work with Annandale on the Anglo-Indians, and his analyses of race mixture in Bengal (pages 9091)Google Scholar, of which more below. Dover, an Eurasian and a member of the Congress Socialist Party, and one of Jawaharlal Nehru's self-appointed educators, insisted (along with his co-author) on the one hand that ‘the problem of the Eurasian community, as the Simon Commission (1930) points out, is essentially economic’ (page 89), but on the other hand insisted that ‘anthropometric study will demonstrate the physical equality of its members with those of any other community in the East, even if it does not suggest the possibility of the physical superiority under improved conditions. He argued for the influence of environment in addition to ‘miscegenation’ as influencing the ‘characteristics of the community’, appealed to a notion of ‘hybrid vigour’: ‘a carefully nurtured hybrid is superior to either parent’, advocated miscegenation – the ‘development of mixed breeds’ would also remove racial friction – and envisioned a future world of ‘one composite race’ (pages 92–93).

116 On Keynes' encounters with the Galton Laboratory, see the public exchanges between Keynes and Karl Pearson (1857–1936, Professor of Applied Maths and Mechanics at University College, London; in 1911, upon Galton's death, he became Galton Professor of Eugenics, which he remained until 1933: see Dictionary of National Biography 1931–1940 (DNB) (Oxford 1949) 681684)Google Scholarin 1910 over a study of ‘the influence of parental alcoholism on the physique and ability of the off spring’, reprinted in The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes XI (London 1983) 186216Google Scholar – categories such as ‘feeble-mindedness’ and ‘racial difference’ in samples from Manchester and Edinburgh were hotly debated in terms of the representativeness of the sample – a debate which was given much of its heat because of its importance in connection with the claims of temperance reformers, but which was conducted in terms of the discipline of statistics. Keynes argued that the Edinburgh population in particular was of low quality, therefore biasing the study: ‘[…] the authors are comparing drunken stock with bad sub-normal sober stock, and find, naturally enough, that there is not much to choose between them’ (page 195, emphasis in original) – or in Pearson's paraphrase of his argument, that the Edinburgh sample was from ‘an exceptionally “low grade” population in which “physical and moral squalor are rampant”’ (page 205) – therefore the differences in degeneracy between the alcoholics and non-alcoholics would not be significant. Pearson argued that the sample was quite representative. In this debate on the interpretation of figures, Keynes' absolute contempt for people from ‘low districts’ comes across clearly; neither Keynes nor Pearson questioned the validity of figures derived from measurements of Manchester and Edinburgh schoolchildren by an Anthropometric Committee. Keynes continued t o take the categories of anthropometries as valid, and discussed them in his Treatise on Probability (1921); his bibliography cites a good deal of Pearson's work: The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes VIII (London 1973) 498499Google Scholar.

117 In this connection, see Jaffrelot, Christophe, ‘The Idea of the Hindu Race in the Writings of Hindu Nationalist Ideologues in the 1920s and 1930s: A Concept Between Two Cultures’ in: Robb, Peter ed., The Concept of Race in South Asia (Delhi 1995)Google Scholar; for the tendency to see caste in terms of race, and the importance of the category ‘Aryan’, in nineteenth-and early twentieth-century British colonial ethnography – and the tendency of India writers to absorb these then state-of-the-art academic concerns, see Susan Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’; on anthropometry and its colonial uses, see Crispin Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: The Early Origins of Indian Anthropometry’, both in Robb ed., The Concept of Race in South Asia. See also Watt, Carey, ‘Education for National Efficiency: Constructive Nationalism in North India, 1909–1916’, Modern Asian Studies 31/2 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, though Watt's concern is not with the significance of this confusion in terminology. That a concern with ‘Hindu’ nationhood tended to exclude or alienate minorities who could not be discussed in such terms has often been pointed out before, to the extent of having replaced the old nationalist tales of triumphant mass mobilisation interrupted by ‘communalism’ caused by British divide-and-rule strategies in many text-books. However, there is now a tendency ot carry the argument too far in an opposite direction: namely, that all mainstream Indian nationalist ideologues leaned towards an exclusionary and consciously ‘Hindu’ movement, provoking necessarily separate minority, and especially Muslim, nationalisms: see Veer, Peter van der, Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India (Berkeley 1994)Google Scholar; and against this, Zachariah's, Benjamin review, Modern Asian Studies 32/1 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Once again, those who used such arguments included some who built their solidarity around anti-Muslim sentiment, and others who sought to include Muslims and other minorities in their nationalism through various devices – the Swadeshi movement had appealed to the Muslims as brothers, using the rakhi – tying ceremony, usually performed by sisters on brothers, to indicate this tie. Rabindranath Tagore, who had been prominent in the Swadeshi movement, was later to realise the limitations of such strategies of creating cross-community solidarities; others were less aware of this. Gandhi was later to use a strategy of coalition of specifically religious feelings in the Non-Cupertino/Khilafat movement. See Sarkar, Sumit, The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, 287, 426Google Scholar; Sarkar, Sumit, Modern India 1885–1947 (Madras 1983) 196–197, 233234Google Scholar.

118 See Cohn, Norman, Warrant for Genocide (London 1967) 110111Google Scholar; see also Gandhi's remarks on the sources he read on Hinduism, Gandhi, M.K., An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahmedabad 1927 and 1929Google Scholar; this edition Harmonds-worth 1982) 76–77. See also the Theosophical Society's journal, The Aryan Path.

119 Mahalanobis, as mentioned before, was at the time only peripherally connected with the debates on Indian development planning – he offered to examine all the NPC's reports from a ‘purely statistical point of view’: see above.

120 See Indian Statistical Institute, History and Activities, 1931–1963 (Calcutta, n.d.) 111Google Scholar; Rudra, , Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, 127128Google Scholar.

121 He kept extensive notes on race and anthropometry, and also took extensive head-length measurements of Bengalis by caste, from which data he published his articles. Trunk T-2, P.C. Mahalanobis Archive, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta.

122 Indian Statistical Institute, History and Activities, 19311963, 1Google Scholar.

123 DNB1931-1940, 681–684; Kirk, R.L., ‘P.C. Mahalanobis and Population Genetics in India’, Samvadhvam: House Journal of the Indian Statistical Institute 10/1–4 (P.C. Mahalanobis Memorial Volume, December 1974)Google Scholar.

124 T frankly confess that I know very little of anatomy. My work on the data supplied has been purely statistical.' Mahalanobis, P.C., ‘Anthropological Observations on the Anglo-Indians of Calcutta, Part I: Analysis of Male Stature’, Records of the Indian Museum XXIII (April 1922) 7Google Scholar.

125 Annandale clarified that he meant Eurasians, as the new terminology agreed upon by the Government of India went, to avoid the derogatory connotations of the term ‘Eurasian’. Annandale, ‘Introductory Note’ to Mahalanobis, , ‘Anthropological Observations on the Anglo-Indians of Calcutta, Part I’, 1Google Scholar.

126 Annandale's note contains an involved debate on racial categories, relative purity of blood, ‘civilised and uncivilised tribes’, ‘recent Negro blood’, ‘persons of mixed blood’, and so on. Annandale, ‘Introductory Note’ to Mahalanobis, , ‘Anthropological Observations on the Anglo-Indians of Calcutta, Part I’, 1Google Scholar.

127 Mahalanobis, ‘Anthropological Observations on the Anglo-Indians of Calcutta, Part I’, Appendix I: Note on Statistical Terms, 94.

128 Mahalanobis, P.C., ‘Analysis of Race Mixture in Bengal’, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal XXIII (1927) 301333Google Scholar; Mahalanobis, P.C., ‘Revision of Risley's Anthropometric Data relating to the Tribes and Castes of Bengal’ (Abstract), Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress (Nagpur) 18 (1931) 411Google Scholar(a version of this paper was published in the first issue of Mahalanobis' own journal, Sankhya, the journal of the Indian Statistical Institute, founded in 1933: Sankhya 1 (1933) 76105)Google Scholar; Mahalanobis, , ‘Revision of Risley's Anthropometric Data relating to the Chittagong Hill Tribes’ (Abstract), Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress (Bangalore), Anthropology Section 19 (1932) 424Google Scholar; Sankhya 1 (1934) 267276Google Scholar; Mahalanobis, P.C., ‘Analysis of Racial Likeness in Bengal Castes’ (Abstract), Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress (Calcutta), Anthropology Section 22 (1935) 335Google Scholar. Risley wrote in the 1890s, and greatly annoyed many Bengalis by concluding that they were not Aryan but ‘Mongolo-Dravidian’. See Risley, H.H., The Tribes and Castes of Bengal: Ethnographic Glossary (Calcutta 1891)Google Scholar; Risley, H.H., The Tribes and Castes of Bengal: Anthropo-metric Data (Calcutta 1891)Google Scholar. Mahalanobis himself took a moderate line, arguing that ‘social barriers and caste restrictions’ had not succeeded in suppressing inter-mingling of the ‘indigenous stock in Bengal’ with the north-east tribes and the aboriginal tribes from Chota Nagpur; as a consequence ‘a larger Hindu Samaj has evolved which is not only not identical with the traditional society of Vedic or classic times but is in many respects even antagonistic. Sectarian obstacles have not proved insurmountable […]’. Mahalanobis, , ‘Analysis of Race Mixture in Bengal’, 322323Google Scholar.

129 The only article on industry he wrote before the Planning Commission papers was one for Meghnad Saha's new journal, Science and Culture. Mahalanobis, P.C., ‘Application of Statistical Methods in Industry’, Science and Culture 1 (1935) 7378Google Scholar. For details on the trajectory of Mahalanobis' career, see Zachariah, Benjamin, ‘The Development of Professor Mahalanobis’, Economy and Society 26/3 (August 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

130 For instance the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), see Andersen, W.K and Damle, S.D., The Brotherhood in Saffron: the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism (Boulder 1987)Google Scholar.

131 Subhas Bose to Amita Purkayastha, 3/9/1938, reprinted in Bose, Sisir Kumar and Bose, Sugata eds, Netaji Collected Works 9, 271Google Scholar. Translated from Bengali.

132 Several articles in the Modern Review in the 1920s, for instance by Benoy Sarkar, express this fascination. Acharya P.C. Ray, a professed Gandhian, quoted Mussolini: Ray, P.C., The Life and Experiences of a Bengali Chemist (Calcutta 1931) 259Google Scholar. Rabindranath Tagore accepted an invitation from Mussolini to visit Italy in 1926, with P.C. Mahalanobis and his wife joining him as travel companions. (Mahalanobis moved on to London and from January 1927 spent some months at Karl Pearson's laboratory). Rudra, , Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis: a Biography, 106Google Scholar.

133 The Gandhians shared this position on the moral value of work: as S.N. Agarwal paraphrased it in 1944, manual labour was to Gandhiji ‘the law of nature’; and Gandhi ‘regards the cry for more leisure as dangerous and unnatural’. Agarwal, S.N., The Gandhian Plan of Economic Development for India (Bombay 1944) 21Google Scholar. J.C. Kumarappa similarly decried the need for leisure: Kumarappa, J.C., Why the Village Movement? (Wardha 1949) 62Google Scholar.

134 An official report framed by Sir M. Visvesvaraya and Pandit Hari Kishan Kaul in 1925, pointed out that there was ‘a large store of cheap and docile labour’ in India, and that ‘in many parts of the country chronic under-employment is a marked characteristic of every day rural life’. As a source they cited Darling's, MalcolmThe Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and Debt (Oxford 1925)Google Scholar. See Report of the Indian Economic Enquiry Committee (Calcutta 1925) 6Google Scholar.

135 Visvesvaraya, , Planned Economy for India, 240, 242243Google Scholar; Thakurdas, P. et al. , A Plan of Economic Development for India (Bombay 1944)Google Scholar. In 1951, Visvesvaraya wrote in his memoirs, ‘One common slogan of the West, the importance of which the Indian citizen has not yet sufficiantly grasped, is: “If you do not work/ Neither shall you eat”’ Visvesvaraya, , Memoirs of My Working Life (Bombay 1951) 142Google Scholar. This was a line of reasoning which also entered Gandhian reasoning: S.N. Agarwal's ‘Gandhian Plan’ in 1944 had stated, quoting St Paul, unlike Visvesvaraya who did not provide a footnote, ‘“He that will not work, neither shall he eat”’. Agarwal, S.N., The Gandhian Plan of Economic Development for India, 21Google Scholar.

136 Nehru to Shah, K.T., 13/5/1939, quoted in Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, ‘The Idea of Planning’, 106Google Scholar.

137 NPC Report, 153–157. The discussions on labour had often taken strange turns – discussing the question of arbitration, the socialist, KT. Shah, had at one point said that ‘in Planned Economy there should be no room for strikes and lock-outs’. Minutes of NPC meeting, 7 May 1940, at which the Labour Sub-Committee's report had been considered. Walchand Hirachand Archives, File No 48, Part II, f 318, NML.

138 Shah, KT. ed., National Planning Committee: Report of the Sub-Committee on Labour (Bombay 1947)Google Scholar Section IX: ‘Workers' Organisation’, 93.

139 P. Thakurdas papers, NML, File 291 Part II: Post-War Economic Development Committee, ff 265–266.

140 Cipher telegram from Wavell, Viceroy, to Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India, 12 June 1944, f 93, IOR: L/I/l/1061. Accordingly, the Economic Adviser, Sir Theodore Gregory, prepared detailed notes on the plan. See IOR: L/I/l/1061, ff 95–104 and ff 27–29. These were intended not only to address ‘fallacies and technical defects in economic and financial argument’ but also to express agreement regarding general aims and objectives. Cipher telegram from Wavell to Amery, 12 June 1944, IOR: L/I/l/1061, f93.

141 This department took over the job of co-ordinating ‘post-war reconstruction and development’ from the ‘Inter-departmental Reconstruction Committee of Council’. See IOR: L/I/l/1129; Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra, ‘The Idea of Planning’, 178242Google Scholar.

142 Government of India, Planning and Development Department, Second Report on Reconstruction Planning.

143 The public phrasing of the Second Report in such terms required that it be phrased in the most general terms possible. Finance Member Jeremy Raisman advised Sir Ardeshir Dalai, the Member for Planning and Development, to tread softly in what he said on financial matters on the grounds that everything seemed uncertain during the war: Raisman to Dalai, Simla, 15 September 1944, NAI: l(4)-P/45: ‘Proceedings of the Reconstruction Committee of Council’, ff 58–61. The discussions on the preliminary drafts of the Second Report and the correspondence thereon show a concern with toning down the more categorical commitments contained in it to more non-committal forms (ff 68–73). A Planning Branch memo dated 17 October 1944 on the Report's commitment to meeting the costs of housing for workers suggested that the sentence ‘should not be so categorical and should be more non-committal’ (f 73).

144 Government of India, Statement of Industrial Policy, 1945, copy in NAI: 8(5)-P/45, ‘Planning of Industrial Development’, ff 119–127. The generalities of the Statement were bewildering even to those in the Planning bureaucracy, one of whom described it as ‘nebulous’, ‘redundant’, being a repetition of the Second Report, ‘not strictly accurate’ and serving ‘only to confuse the issue’ (A.S. Lall, Deputy Secretary, Finance, to Additional Secretary, Planning, 11/10/1944, f 2). Another said it betrayed ‘loose thinking’ and was ‘vague’ (V. Narahari Rao's memo dated 18/10/1944, ff 7, 11). A European bureaucrat, C.E. Jones, seemed to understand the reasoning better when he wrote in response to these criticisms that the Statement was ‘highly generalised in form and necessarily vague’ – the vagueness being ‘understandable’ because the Planning and Development Department was seeking ‘to secure general agreement on the main features of their approach to the problem’ (C.E.Jones' note, 19/10/1944, f 12). A.S. Lall, however, in a Note dated 30/12/1944, predicted that despite the Planning and Development Department's appearing to ‘set great store’ by an ‘unequivocal declaration’ of its desire ‘to do everything in its power to promote the rapid industrialisation of India’, this would not help the Government's public image; it would ‘take not even the more intelligent industrialist to argue, and argue correctly that such a statement means, and can mean, very little’ (f 19).

145 Hutton, Lt-Gen. T., ‘The Planning of Post-War Development in India’, Asiatic Review XLIII (April 1947)Google Scholar.