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Indian History. To what extent did large dams built before 1990 fulfil Nehru's ambitions?
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To what extent did large dams built before 1990 fulfil Nehru's ambitions?
After gaining independence from the British Empire in 1947, India had two opposite development alternatives: the village economy model of Ghandi and the modernization scheme of Nehru. Nehru prevailed, running for office with the slogan 'Industrialize - or perish!' (Visvanathan, 2007, p. 5).1 In 1951 introduced the concept of Five Year Plans - developmental plans for a period of five years formulated by the newly established Planning Commission (htt1). Described as the 'architect of Indian planning' (Khan, 1989, p. 4), Nehru was the principal driver of economic change in independent India. He instituted policies based on the idea that India had to emulate the West in its development and follow a path to modernity. In 1954, Nehru even stated: 'We are trying to catch up, as far as we can, with the Industrial Revolution that occurred long ago in Western Countries' (Nehru, 1954, p. 93). He emphasized the need for 'mother' or 'key' projects: large-scale productions such as steel factories, power plants, agriculture and, most significant, dams (Khilnani, 2004, p. 72). These were essential because of their contribution to the development of other economic sectors. This
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