Nehruvian Socialism, a Fine Balance: Reconciling Economic Planning and Democracy in Modern India (1947-64)

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This work examines the origins of post-colonial India's political economy, and how centralised state planning was reconciled with India's democratic constitution. By analysing the work of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, this thesis shows that national unity and poverty were two overarching aims that guided India's political economy in the initial years after independence. After examining the intellectual history of state intervention and economic planning from the 1920s-1940s in the USA, USSR and Europe, the thesis explores how planning was conceived of in India. It also analyses the perspectives of Indian businesses and finally sees how planning was implemented during Nehru's rule from 1947-64 in the form of Five-Year Plans.


Type of resource text
Date created [ca. May 12, 2020]


Author Mariwala, Vibhav
Primary advisor Hansen, Thomas
Primary advisor Crews, Robert
Degree granting institution Department of History


Subject Vibhav Mariwala
Subject Department of History
Subject Stanford University
Subject Jawaharlal Nehru
Subject Democracy
Subject Socialism
Subject Planning
Subject Keynes
Subject Soviet
Subject Five-Year Plan
Subject The Bombay Plan
Subject Modernity
Subject Constitution
Subject Political Economy
Genre Thesis

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Mariwala, Vibhav. (2020). Nehruvian Socialism, a Fine Balance: Reconciling Economic Planning and Democracy in Modern India (1947-64). Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Undergraduate Honors Theses, Department of History, Stanford University

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