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winds of change-part I-growth & social justice-ch 1-6

The process of planning is qualitatively different in a totalitarian or autocratic kind of society and the one which aims at achieving rapid economic growth within the framework of democratic institutions. No real effort at planning is possible in an atmosphere of violence, frustration and tensions. If the seventies have to be a decade of rapid economic growth, it will also have to be a decade of peace. One has only to look around to see the manifestations of growing frustrations and tensions in the country today. I would agree to a certain extent that conflict of values and clash of interests are inevitable in any changing society. There is bound to be a certain resistance to any change, whether it is in the social life of the country or the economic life of it. We have seen that the caste prejudices and the antagonism based on religious beliefs still persist in the country. But these difficulties come up in bold relief when there is a clash of economic interests. Thus, there is bound to be resistance from those who have to lose a portion of their land under the land ceiling legislation. There was under­standable resistance and anger at the time when an effort was made to implement the principle of land for the tiller and to do away with the concept of absentee landlordism. But unless efforts are made to smoothen out these conflicts in a pragmatic way and as a matter of State policy, it will be difficult to pursue the effort at planning for any length of time.

When we make an assessment of the present situation, it should not be difficult to pinpoint the areas which would require our concerted attention. As I stated earlier, the educational facilities in the country have gone up by leaps and bounds, and we have a large reservoir of trained man-power for which it is difficult to find suitable employment opportunities. There is considerable unemployment among the engineers. There are large numbers of other technically qualified persons who are finding it difficult to get suitable employment opportunities. This has inevitably created considerable frustration and anger in the younger generation. This is not merely a short term problem of providing jobs for these educated youths, but it is also a national and long term problem of getting adequate returns on the investment which has been made on the education of these persons. In addition to this large mass of educated unemployed, there are millions in the countryside who have been unemployed and under-employed for decades. In the long run a solution to the problem of unemploy­ment can be found only by increasing the rate of growth of industrialisation of the economy. It is also evident that it will not be possible to provide employment to all such persons in the Government sphere alone. But a purposeful and concerted effort will have to be made to give first priority to the massive problem of unemployment in the country. I have no doubt that jobs for the millions must be the corner stone of our strategy for the seventies. This gigantic problem is not merely one of economic logic but has also a very real and compelling human connotation. Needless to say, there can be no easy solution to it, and it would call for a considerable degree of resourcefulness and imaginativeness in tackling the same.