Stagnation, Agrarian Structure and Credit Daniel Thorner Memorial Lecture Series Ashok Mitra ISBN 984 05 1123 8 1990 64pp 215x136mm HB Tk.150.00 US$20.00
What have been the true achievements of the much discussed ‘green revolution’ in the Indian sub-continent? What coalition of political forces came to choose the advice of the technologists over those urging structural reforms as the solution to India’s agrarian transformation? What have been the costs of a development strategy which has ignored the agrarian masses in favour of securing the political allegiance of a landed minority?
With a rare clarity of vision, Prof. Ashok Mitra illuminates the complex trajectory of India’s agrarian transition and the range of political arrangements which have underpinned it.
In a tantalizing exercise in speculation, Prof. Mitra asks how long can the interest of the industrial bourgeoisie ignore the cost of a political coalition with a subsidy-demanding landed minority.
In his second lecture Prof. Mitra traces the social origins of banking and shows that such origins lie in nothing more mysterious than power and privilege. Much used categories such as ‘cost of capital’ and ‘rate of interest’ are shorn of their apparently straightforward technical explanations and are planned within their proper perspectives.
Dr. Ashok Mitra is both an internationally noted economist and outstanding development practitioner who has moved comfortably between the world of academe, policy advice and policymaking, with numerous academic and official contributions to his credit.
He has been Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and Chairman of the Indian Agricultural Prices Commission and was a Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. He was elected to the State Assembly in West Bengal in 1977 and from since then and upto his resignation in. 1986 he was instrumental in shaping the economic policy of the CPM government in West Bengal as its Finance Minister.
Dr. Mitra is the author of The Share of Wages in National Income and Terms of Trade and Class Relations. He has also edited a volume of essays on Economic Theory and Planning. Deeply committed to the cause of social justice, Ashok Mitra’s courageous views are recorded regularly on the pages of the Economic and Political Weekly where he has for many years contributed as ‘AM’ the widely read column, Calcutta Diary. Over the years this column has continued to provide a unique testimony to the lives and travails of the common people living in the shadows of ‘trickledown development’ and political oppression. Never a pedant, Mitra’s writings display a. rare ability to communicate the anger, the irony and always the compassion of a sensitive scholar moved by the miseries, the disappointments and the aspirations of his fellow beings.