Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day- 2

QUESTIONS ASKED -DAY-2 ( 21/07/2013)

1) “The growth of the Indian economic class in the colonial period was substantial that too in spite of and in opposition to colonialism” Comment.

2) ” The changing bilateral equations between India and Japan reflects the increasing importance of India to the Asia-Pacific region”. Critically Analyze.


Keerti Narayan


Both in absolute and relative terms, the growth of the Indian economic class during the colonial period was substantial. In absolute terms, from the period between 1910-1947 the share of Indian enterprises in the domestic economy was around 70%, which is a significant achievement. In relative terms with the colonial capitalists, this is a further big achievement as Indian enterprises received no support from the colonial government, not to mention the Government’s favorable inclination towards British capitalists.

This considerable achievement of the Indian enterprises gain more significance because, unlike the growth of domestic enterprises in other colonial countries, the Indian enterprise’s growth was not because of its pro-imperialist character. In fact, it would be right to say that it achieved this growth despite being against imperialism.
In 1927 the Federal Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was started by Indian Industrialists like JRD Tata, GD Birla, Purushottamdas Thakurdas, Jamnalal Dwarkadas etc. It functioned as an institution which served as a lobby for securing the interests of Indian capitalists. However, it did not act as a subservient to the colonial government in any way. In fact, it too opposite stands against the government in many instances. One such example is its opposition to the Public Safety Bill.

The Indian capitalists achieved substantial growth mainly by means of import substitution, carving out a place for themselves in the domestic industry and edging out British capitalists where they could.

Thus it is evident that though the Indian capitalists and enterprises were not socialistic, they were definitely not subservient to imperialistic policies and their colonial masters. The growth they achieved during the 1st half of the 20th century is mainly because of their entrepreneurship skills, indigenous growth and a united network.


 India and Japan have maintained cordial relations in the past. Japan has assisted India in the infrastructure sector substantially and India’s consumers have created a good market for Japanese enterprises. India’s PM visited Japan in May 2013 and a strategic dialogue between the two countries followed. They discussed about economic integration, nuclear cooperation, maritime security etc. Observers believe that growing ties between India and Japan shows increasing importance of India in Asia Pacific region. However, it is not exactly as it is because of the following observations:

1. The Nuclear Cooperation proposed between India and Japan is to be seen in the light of post Fukushima scenario in Japan. Japanese enterprises of Nuclear energy are looking for new markets as there is stiff resistance to Nuclear energy in Japan. It is not exactly to strengthen ties with India

2. The China-Japan tussle over the Senkaku islands is hovering since last year. India in spite of being a prominent actor in Asian politics has not taken a solid stand in the issue. Even regarding China’s aggressive claims in South China sea where India has stakes in petroleum exploration, India has not taken a tough stand stating international seas are to be governed by UNCLOS and not by traditional claims.

3. India itself witnessed Chinese aggression recently in its Daulat Begi sector of Jammu and Kasmir. After a two week drama, the militaries of both sides went back to maintaining status quo.

In 2011, India and Japan signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Even then trade balance between India and Japan is mainly inclined towards Japan. Moreover, India’s volume of trade with China is more than that of Japan

In the view of above arguments, we can conclusively say that though India Japan relations are reaching a new scale and are expected to benefit both countries, it does not mark the ascend of India to a major player in Asian Politics. Asian politics is still being dominated by China.

Comment By Anjali Motghare to the above answer:

Colonial rule was mainly focused on making India subservient to their needs so always they protected their interests with certain checks and balances. Indian capitalists growth was substantial because after 1905 swadeshi movement which is launched against colonial rule provided a opportunity which is augmented by World War II crisis of shortage of common goods.

After China India is the emerging power in Asia Pacific region, Japan is looking towards India as it needs India’s market to spur its economy and to contain China India is only option with it. Growing India Japan relations prove the significance of India’s importance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asha Goud


Colonialism has an exploitative nature. Extracting resources of the country for the benefit of the mother country.
Colonial government doesn’t allow its subjects to use the structures and institutions for their advantage and growth. As in case of India we have seen earlier the East India Company and later the British Government kept trade within its control. Indian crafts were subjected to competition from subsidized products from Britain on the one hand and heavy duties were levied on Indian products when exported.
Even in such guarded economic structure certain class of Indians was able to make their place, like zamindar, high officers in civil services, traders, mill and factory owners etc. These people who were allowed grow along with colonial system were some who ensured their growth supported colonial government and others ensured not being antagonistic to colonial interest.
Names of entrepreneurs like Jamnalal Bajaj, G D Birla, Ambalal Sarabhai is taken with immense respect for their contribution in creating a place for themselves even in the highly rigid and exploitative colonial government. Through cooperative effort, persuasion and innovation they were able to strengthen their position and later even held strong anti imperialistic stand against exploitation of India.
The presence of colonial government did not allow the Indian economic Class to grow to its true potential, so Indian economic class did grow however its growth was checked and not allowed to flourish.


India Japan relations have reached new heights at the moment. The relation has a strong economic as well as strategic dimension. Japan’s economy is at low and PM Shinzo Abe looks at India as a market for export of technology and infrastructure. At the same time India Japan partnership has developed further with the growing gulf between Japan and China. This reflects the importance of India for Japan has grown in the current scenario.
However in the South Asian region India has a long history of its importance. The Indian Ocean is an important trade route and considered as energy corridor for the South East Asian countries as it serves as route for oil from the Gulf. India maintains maritime security cooperation with South Asian nations.

India has strong economic and trade relations with ASEAN and avenues for further cooperation are being explored. Also India contributes towards regional development and maritime security in cooperation with small island nations in the Indian Ocean. This shows a multidimensional role of India in the region.
Also India maintains healthy relations with the USA which is a major player in the Pacific region. Japan also has strong relations with USA. Together with Japan and USA, India has ensured its position in the Pacific.
Therefore the growing India Japan relations have only further increased the already important position that India held in the Asia Pacific region.

Mahendra Nath Gorle


Colonialism in India lasts about two centuries with an aim of economic prosperity of British. As soon as the British entered in to India, they started to make alliances with week rulers and with big zamindars to set up their factories and settled gradually. In later periods, British starts to exploit the economy of India, who are mainly targeting the agricultural class and poor people.
Economic classes of India acted as break waters for looting of British. Because of this advantage British not much harmed these people even though they voiced against them for some times. More over Economic classes are hugely benefitted with British inputs like education, English and western technology to Indian capitalists.
Economic classes are the only people of India who have access to education in colonial period.

Education helps them to better understand the policies and outer world. It also helps them to get some noble positions in British Empire.
In early periods, British encouraged zamindars and these zamindars pays fixed sum to British, though they collect huge and exorbitant rents from poor peasants.
In this way the economic classes of India are quite prosper in colonial period.


India and Japan had traditional friendship since long in terms of historical, cultural, economical and in military as well. Except very few years in different periods, the relationship with Japan was always stable.
With growing globalisation and trade wars, India’s position became so critical in many corners. In this crucial period the relationship with a country like Japan is so important in both strategic point of view as well as in economical point also.
India an Japan both facing different type of problems at a single location of South China Sea. While Japan tries to strengthen its sovereignty over Senkaku Islands, India tries to secure its energy interests in hydrocarbons of South China Sea. In both the cases China is bitterly opposing and making its claims.
In economic point of view Japan aid to India is biggest among all and it is in continuous process. The capital inflows from Japan companies are also not in negligible position and it is very important in Indian point of view.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan also ready to yield its results.
All these will position in India in a game changing position in Asia pacific region. The size of the economies of these two countries also makes some interest notes to many countries.

Casio Karan


Let’s start off by consulting the map . Japan and India lie along a vast outer maritime crescent enclosing continental East Asia. That external position, plus the long lines of communication connecting the two countries and the potentially contested terrain lying in between. india and japan underscored their commitment to freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce, as well as agreeing to promote cooperation on maritime issues.
The recent 20-day standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers and japan’s and china’s ships clustering around a series of disputed islands only brought India and Japan closer in bilateral ties.
Most significant, there is new seriousness in Indian foreign policy toward the larger Asian region, India has been hesitant in engaging Japan for fear of upsetting China. New Delhi is slowly shedding this ambivalence, and Japan has been one of the strongest votaries of a tighter Delhi-Tokyo embrace.

Recently New Delhi announced that Japan is a “natural and indispensable partner” for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and emphasized India and Japan’s “shared commitment to the ideals of democracy, peace and freedom
New Delhi and Tokyo not only agreed to institutionalize and increase the frequency of joint naval exercises, but also Japan would offer its advanced seaplane US-2 to India. A joint working group has been set up to decide terms of cooperation.
In 1967 Japan voluntarily relinquished international trade in defence equipment under the “Three Principles on Arms Exports.” Relaxation of these norms has been slow in coming and, India could become the second country after the U.S. to gain from this. Moreover Japan doesn’t enjoy decisive hegemony over north East Asia or say Asia pacific altogether.
This state of affairs only bring India in to a new stage of Asia pacific where New Delhi was a bit taken aback after Beijing denounced plans by an Indian Company to develop oil fields in the south china sea.

Biman Ghosh


Amid the growing turbulence in Asia-Pacific region,especially in China sea and Indian Ocean Region(IOR),India and Japan headed to significant coalition bilaterally.China’s assertive claims over disputed region adds fuel in fire and makes wary to some Asian giants,including Japan,South Korea,etc.

Japan envisages India as a key trustful partner to counter China’s irrational behavior over the Asia-Pacific.Japan knows it very well,that it is India who can play a massive role to secure Japanese interests in east china sea.India has been playing a significant role to constrain growing Chinese power with it’s successful “Look-east Policy” for a long time.In other words,India’s emerging as a key player in Asia -Pacific maritime region fueled Japan to tie its bilateral treaties with India.

Though Indian Economic growth rate has decreased in a very short span and rupee is still struggling with its volatility,yet Indian economy is one of the largest strong economies in Asia with its mammoth domestic savings.It’s market still remains the apple of eyes of developed nations.India also has a great reputation in “ASEAN” on economic issues.India also invested a substantial pie in ASEAN,which enables her to access the high potential market of ASEAN.

More significantly,India also have Free Trade Agreement(FTAs) with most south Asians. Recognizing the importance of Indian economic power,the Japanese was fast to establish CEPA with Indian govt.Japan also try to make greater access to Indian market as well as in other Asian nations through India.the growing bilateral ties with Japan,more or less signals that Asia Pacific region has die need of Indian role to play out.

Navodit Verma


Japanese prime minister Hhinzo Abe has revived the samurai spirit again by extending hands towards India for friendship. recently he invited Indian prime minister to visit japan. many agreements were made such as defense cooperation, joint naval exercise , reviving civil nuclear cooperation programme, Mumbai metro project etc.also japan has promised to develop infrastructure in India.
this clearly infers that Asia pacific region including japan is giving importance to India. this may be due to various reasons:
1. non peaceful rise of china in Asia is seen as disturbance of balance of power in Asia, further China Japan territorial disputes has compelled Tokyo to confront Beijing military assertiveness.
2. china’s illegitimate claims over south china sea .
3. the strategic location of India in Indian ocean is one of the factors.
4. India is also seen as a country for investments in infrastructure , rails,
road etc.
India has been for long following ” CHINA -FIRST ” policy, but it is not bringing the positive results. Depsang valley incursion was a good example for this. more ever if we see the 4th angle, china is pushing up for economic corridor through PoK with Pakistan despite India’s concerns.
India must consolidate its relationship with other countries in pacific Asia and south Asia . it will consolidate India’s position in Asia .also it will boost economic development in India.
further India should also try to make cordial relations with china because going very fast with japan can provoke china. India is still having weaker border infrastructure and also having huge dis balance of trade in favour of china.



India has missed out on industrial revolution being a colony under British. India under British capitalism, has turned into a supplier of raw materials and markets for cheap, manufactured goods and avenue for investing foreign capital.

Any modern industry worth it’s name took its roots in india during mid 19 Th. century. Initially it was mainly confined to jute, cotton mill industries and sugar, centered mainly in Bombay and Calcutta. However plantations are controlled by British, railways machinery were imported, access to finance was mainly in British hands, railways were so constricted to serve the interests of British capitalists for markets and connecting resource rich areas to ports.

The exchange rate was so controlled,so as to favor Britain industrialists interests. Indian exports faced exorbitant tariff rates in Britain unlike imports at zero duty.Colonialism has had an adverse impact on Indian industrialists in every area- finance, connectivity, tariffs, markets, taxes, working hours etc..

However, Indian economic class- capitalists and trade worker- two new classes emerged during mid 19 th century, has endured the difficulties. This, they did, by including their demands in and supporting nationalist movements. By 1920s, forays have been made to basic industries like iron and steel, cement etc. unlike capitalists of other countries who often side with colonialists, indian industrialists were fully convinced of the fact that they can truly prosper only under an Indian government.

This can further be seen when Indian national movement under Indian national congress threatened a left turn, industrialists didn’t take shelter under British but instead influenced the movement to its side. Their take and support to public sector has been clear in Bombay plan and national planning committee reports.

Indian economic classes- capitalists and workers – have both grown substantially taking help of national movement led by ideologically diverse, pluralistic INC and further left their imprint on the national movement, opposing the colonialism all through the way.