Principles of Balanced Economy – Section B
You know, in a balanced economy there should be proper adjustment among agriculture, industry and commerce. For example, a fixed percentage of people should be engaged in agriculture, another fixed percentage in industry and some percentage in commerce. Otherwise there will be no equipoise or equilibrium in the socio-economic sphere of life.
Unfortunately no such adjustment exists in any country of the world today. Even in industrially advanced countries like Great Britain there is no proper adjustment. While England is developed, Scotland is backward. Even among the counties of England, some are developed and some are backward. Lancaster, for instance, is highly developed but Yorkshire is undeveloped. Sussex, Essex and Kent are not equally developed.
In Bengal some districts are highly developed whereas other districts are backward. The economic structure is not properly balanced, and due to this people suffer. For example, Calcutta, Hooghly, Howrah, Burdwan and 24 Parganas are industrially developed, but the neighbouring districts of Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum and Murshidabad are backward. So you must try to bring about an industrial revolution in the country. Just as there was a French Revolution, there should be an industrial revolution in Bengal.
For this industrial revolution we must not depend upon raw materials from foreign countries. Remember that no country should depend on imported raw materials for development. Indigenous raw materials, that is, materials available within the country itself, must be used for this purpose. Those who love society – those who love the people of their country and are keen to bring about their socio-economic elevation – must think in terms of an industrial revolution based on the raw materials available in their own socio-economic unit.
The districts of North Bengal – Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and West Dinajpur – can produce and supply enough raw materials for industrial development. We must utilize the available raw materials. For example, Coochbehar district can supply jute and tobacco; Jalpaiguri district can supply pineapple fibres; and western Jalpaiguri district can supply jute fibres. Malda district can supply mango; textiles; silk; rice bran for producing edible rice bran oil; and jute and maize which can be used to make paper. The Malda silk industry can successfully compete with Chinese and Japanese silk, but unfortunately Malda, which has so much industrial potential, is the third poorest district in Bengal.
These things should be done, and they should be done in a short span of time. No industry in Bengal should depend on raw materials imported from outside.
You should bring about this revolution. You should collectively chalk out plans and programmes and demand such a change, such a revolution. Do not delay.
17 September 1987, Calcutta