Libmonster ID: IN-1319
Author(s) of the publication: F. YURLOV

60 years ago-August 15, 1947 India gained independence. Over the years, it has gone through a difficult path and built an authoritative, influential state of the modern world on the wreckage of a dependent colony of the British Empire. At the beginning of the XXI century. India aims to become one of the leading powers. It has many prerequisites for this: powerful human resources, a large middle class, and a multi-million layer of well-educated people. India is a dynamic country with more than half of its population made up of young people. This is not only its hope for the future, but also a huge resource for development in the present. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, ready to make a breakthrough in the scientific and technological sphere. It is growing its global influence and becoming an important factor in the strategic balance of power in Asia and the world.

After achieving independence, India chose a democratic form of government and social structure. The formation of democratic institutions took place in an extremely fragmented society.

INDIA IS THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD

During the colonial period, the main instrument for creating political parties was the Indian National Congress (Congress), although the role of other organizations should not be underestimated. It was in their contradictory relationships and struggles that the basis on which political democracy developed in India was created, and the ideas of modernizing the country were formed.

An important, and perhaps decisive, factor in determining the democratic choice was the political will of those who led an independent India. And in this regard, we should mention the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru. He believed that building a society based on the principles of democracy would produce better results than any other form of government, and he pinned hopes for the country's progress on this.

For post-colonial India, the most important goal of democratic development was to create the necessary conditions for the normal life of the vast masses of the population, a significant part of which was on the verge of poverty. The great achievement of Indian democracy has been to build the foundation of civil society. Thousands of non-governmental, public and private organizations associated with the vital interests of different strata and groups of the population contribute to the formation of the socio-political climate in the country. This process has already reached the stage where society itself is able to generate ideas and have a significant impact on politics and the economy.

A milestone event that determined the country's development along the path of democratic modernization was the adoption of its constitution (1950). India was established as a sovereign democratic republic in order to ensure social, economic and political justice for all its citizens; freedom of thought, expression, beliefs, religion, and worship. The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, caste, gender or place of birth, and abolishes the principle of untouchability. It guarantees ownership rights 1.

The democratic implementation of fundamental rights and guiding principles of State policy, especially in the social, economic and political fields, was far from a painless and smooth process.

In the early years of Indian independence, it was extremely important to implement measures to strengthen its unity and territorial integrity. Moreover, many experts and politicians, primarily foreign ones, predicted the collapse of India. The government managed to overcome the feudal fragmentation of the country into almost 600 principalities that became part of the Indian state, which was a major step towards its democratization and modernization.

In the system of democratic institutions, the central place is occupied by the activities of the Parliament. Prior to 2004, India held 14 elections to the lower house of Parliament and held numerous state legislative elections. This confirmed the vitality and sustainability of democratic institutions and the political system. In 1952-2004, an average of 61.5% of voters took part in parliamentary elections. (For comparison: in the US congressional elections in 1945-2000. participated

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On average, 47.7% of the electorate voted, compared to 56% in the Russian State Duma elections2.)

One of the tools for strengthening democracy in India and decentralizing power has become the elected bodies of local government, such as city corporations (in large cities) and municipalities, and in rural areas - panchayats. The latter play a special role in introducing the residents of 580 thousand Indian villages, which are home to more than 70% of the country's population, to local democratic governance. However, electoral democracy at the grassroots level took root with great difficulty. Therefore, in 1992, the Parliament adopted amendments to the Constitution that required the state authorities to hold regular elections to village panchayats and municipalities every five years.3

The peculiarity of the democratic system of India is reflected in the legislative provision for the representation of the most disadvantaged lower strata of society (registered castes and tribes) in Parliament and state legislatures by introducing appropriate quotas for them in these bodies. Since 1992, the Constitution has also provided for the reservation of seats for these strata in village panchayats and municipalities. This contributed to the involvement of the grassroots in social and political activities.

No less ambitious is the task of involving such "weak strata" (in Indian terminology) as women in public life and the democratic process. They actively participate in elections, but are clearly underrepresented in both legislative and executive bodies (although they are better represented than in Russia). An amendment to the Constitution (1992) reserved for women the right to at least one third of the seats in panchayats and municipalities.4 In recent years, the issue of allocating a quota of one-third of seats in Parliament and state legislatures to women has been widely discussed in the country. However, the matter has not yet progressed beyond discussions on this issue.

In Indian parliamentary democracy, the opposition plays a significant role. It raises acute issues of socio-political and economic life, keeps the government in suspense, often forcing it to correct or even change its decisions. The opposition also makes extensive use of extra-parliamentary forms of democracy: mass rallies, marches, strikes, and protest actions to draw public attention to the demands it puts forward. A number of opposition parties have their own press and publishing base. The leader of the largest opposition party in Parliament has the same status as a cabinet minister of the Government of India.

An important achievement of parliamentary democracy in the country was the development and implementation of a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the results of elections from one political party or coalition to another. The problem was not so simple, especially in cases where no party or coalition won an absolute majority of seats in Parliament or the state Legislature. But even in this case, a democratic procedure for resolving such issues was developed.

Parliamentary democracy contributed to the development of public and political consciousness of the population, the departure from many paternalistic traditions, and the modernization of traditional society. But even today, traditions continue to play a prominent role in political life, sometimes fitting in the most bizarre way into the modern mechanisms of democracy. A tribute to the traditional consciousness of voters is the appeal of individual parties for support to the authority of religion. In recent years, religious and caste consciousness has become a powerful tool of politics.

Some Indian analysts believe that parliamentary democracy does not always work in India, citing the frequent change of governments in recent years. There were ideas of creating a presidential republic, which, however, did not receive their concrete expression. But even the very emergence of these ideas confirms that democracy as such is deeply rooted in India, and no one questions its viability and necessity for the further development of society.

CHOOSING DEVELOPMENT PATHS

In the early years of independence, India laid the foundation for a mixed economy in which strategic control belonged to the state, but the private sector was given a prominent role. In the 1950s and 1960s, the government persistently pursued a policy of attracting broad segments of the population to its side, putting forward slogans of social justice. It was based on the fact that without mass support, especially from the countryside, no party could expect to succeed. The concept of a mixed economy contained elements of social equality, but was inherently capitalist.

By restricting the activities of private capital in certain sectors of the economy, the state simultaneously ensured a noticeable expansion of large-scale capital. Industrialization had a positive impact on the situation in agriculture. The implementation of agrarian reforms (although limited in scope and socio-economic significance) also contributed to capitalist transformations in the agricultural sector. The area of cultivated land increased, irrigation facilities, roads, livestock farms and seed farms were built, etc.The main vector of agrarian reforms was aimed at satisfying the interests of the middle and well-to-do peasantry, against large landowner land ownership. As a result of the policy of self-sufficiency, including with the help of foreign countries, including the USSR, by the end of the 1960s. India has largely managed to get rid of starvation and mass diseases.

At the same time, centrifugal processes, as well as the decentralization of power, intensified in the country, and the socio-economic and political stratification of society took place at a rapid pace. The stronger affluent strata in the countryside and city demanded greater participation in government, using local resources in the states.

During the reign of Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi (1966-1977 and 1980-1984), the first measures were taken to reform the Indian economy. They

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These included the devaluation of the rupee, the removal of many import restrictions, and industrial deregulation. All this was to be accompanied by major assistance from international financial institutions and developed countries. However, this assistance was not provided.

In an effort to strengthen its position, the Gandhian government adopted a program in 1969 that included the nationalization of a number of large commercial banks and coal industry enterprises, insurance, the elimination of privileges of former princely rulers, the introduction of restrictions on the ownership of urban land, the reform of lease relations in the countryside, measures to limit the power of monopolies and the concentration of economic power.

In turn, the opposition conservative Bharatiya Jana Sangh Party (Indian People's Union-BDS) declared its determination to "Indianize" mines, other enterprises, as well as tea, coffee and jute plantations, which are mainly at the disposal of foreign capital. The BDS has put forward the task of rebuilding the country on the basis of Indian culture, political, social and economic democracy. A capitalist economic system that recognizes the "economic man" as its central subject cannot be adequate, party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee said. This is not in line with Indian philosophy. Socialism emerged as a reaction to the problems created by capitalism. They differ in their assessment of the value of private property, but both lead to centralization and monopolization. As a result, a person, a person, is out of their attention. The Western world has made great material progress, but in the spiritual sphere, according to Vajpayee, it has not achieved much. India, for its part, is lagging behind in material development. But there can be no spiritual salvation without material prosperity. Therefore, India should strive to be strong and financially secure in order to strengthen the health of the nation and contribute to world progress.5

In the early 1970s, the Gandhian government launched a program, the most important part of which was the further implementation of agrarian reforms - reducing the "ceiling" of rural land ownership (up to 10-18 acres) and distributing surplus land among landless peasants and agricultural workers. The government's actions met with resistance from large landowners. The struggle in the countryside was reflected in the political struggle between different parties, and in the Congress itself. A sharp conflict also arose over issues related to the nationalization of more than 100 foreign and Indian insurance companies and a number of industrial enterprises. As a compromise between the state and entrepreneurs, the idea of creating a "joint" sector in the economy emerged. It was about using the financial resources of the state to control the activities of private monopolies (through the purchase of their shares). For their part, the big industrialists insisted on re-privatizing public sector enterprises.

With an overwhelming majority of parliamentary seats, the Gandhi Government has developed a poverty eradication program to ensure social justice and economic growth. This program was reflected in the fifth five-year plan of India (1974/75-1978/79), which provided for a significant increase in agricultural production, increased productivity of small and medium-sized farms, guaranteed employment in rural areas, and the development of labor-intensive small industries in cities. All of this had to be accompanied by improvements in education, health care, and food supply.

In fact, the implementation of this program faced enormous difficulties, including due to the drought in 1972-1975. The situation was also worsened by the war with Pakistan (1971), which led to the formation of Bangladesh, which was accompanied by an influx of millions of refugees to India. This was followed by the 1973 - 1974 oil crisis. All this has had a very negative impact on the economic and political life of the country.

STATE OF EMERGENCY: FAILED ATTEMPT AT AUTHORITARIAN RULE

In the second half of the 1970s, the process of consolidation of the right-wing conservative opposition, which relied on large landowners and certain groups of the urban bourgeoisie, noticeably intensified. The opposition put forward the slogan of "total revolution", that is, the struggle against the monopoly of the Congress on power and the authoritarian methods of rule by Gandhi, against corruption in various echelons of power and in society. The opposition rallied around itself a significant part of the well-to-do peasantry, the middle urban strata, including many intellectuals and students, and began a movement of disobedience.

In response, at the end of June 1975, Gandhi imposed a state of emergency in the country, which was approved by the parliament, where the majority of seats belonged to her party. A number of leaders of opposition parties were arrested, the activities of some religious-community and left-wing extremist organizations were banned, and freedom of the press was restricted. Opposition parties condemned the repressive actions of the authorities, especially the arrests of many participants in the disobedience movement.

Then the government announced a "20-point Program": lowering the prices of food and vital goods, withdrawing surplus land over the "ceiling" of land ownership, distributing the land obtained in this way among landless peasants and agricultural workers, freeing the rural poor from bonded debt, etc. The program also provided for liberalization in the field of private entrepreneurship, refusing to continue the development of private entrepreneurship. nationalizations 6.

To strengthen its position among the people, the Gandhian government passed a constitutional amendment in Parliament in 1976 declaring India a " sovereign socialist secular democratic republic." (To this day, this provision of the constitution remains in force.)

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Nevertheless, in the 1977 elections, the Congress led by Gandhi was defeated and for the first time lost power in the center. The main reasons for this were the departure from the previous social policy and the use of violent, anti-democratic, authoritarian methods of governance. The state of emergency has undermined the prestige of the ruling party.

SEARCH FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT MODELS

The Janata Party (People's Party) coalition that came to power in 1977 tried to develop a new model of development. However, it did not succeed, because it consisted of ideologically incompatible political groups and was therefore doomed to defeat.

In the late 1970s, the country again experienced considerable difficulties, including due to a new sharp increase in oil prices on the world market. The Congress Government, which came to power again in 1980, made another attempt at economic reform. Partial liberalization of imports, deregulation of industrial production in certain sectors were implemented, a course was set for the development of an export-oriented industry, spending cuts in the public sector of the economy, tax cuts, price controls were loosened, etc. But in 1984, the implementation of this program was suspended, as it turned out to be ineffective, and also led to an increase in external debt.

Nevertheless, from 1947 to the early 1990s, India's model of economic development was generally quite successful. There has been a marked reduction in poverty, an industrial base and a relatively developed banking system have been created, and the private sector has become an important part of the economy. In India, a very stable political and economic system was created in a democratic environment.

At the same time, negative trends began to appear in the country, which were manifested in a reduction in state savings, an increase in the financial deficit, and strict protectionism of local industry. In addition, India's external debt exceeded $ 80 billion (about a quarter of GDP) in 1990/91.

THE NEED FOR DEEP REFORMS

The oil crisis that followed the Gulf War in early 1991 exacerbated the situation in India. This has led to significant political and economic instability in the country. Deep reforms were needed, which were initiated by the Congress Government in the same year. The architect of the reforms was Finance Minister Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister of India since 2004). One of the main goals of the reforms was to provide the majority of the population with opportunities to improve their lives, eliminate the huge economic inequality between individual social groups, regardless of their religious or caste affiliation, as well as differences in the socio-economic development of individual regions.

Without this, it was impossible to ensure stability in a democratic society, especially in such a complex multi-religious and multi-ethnic country as India. The reforms made progress in addressing a number of important economic and social issues, taking into account the previous experience of India's modernization in both the colonial and post-colonial periods.

Even during the period of British rule, the country has accumulated a huge, unique experience of interpenetrating the values of Indian and Western societies. In the course of a long, sometimes very painful, and sometimes even violent process, their peculiar mutual lapping took place. At each stage, a new balance was achieved in the areas of culture, social life, science, technology, and production. It was basically an evolutionary process, revealing both the strengths of traditional society and its weaknesses, as well as those values of Western civilization that were positively perceived by Indian public opinion. Society was sensitive to the nature and pace of such development. He developed an understanding that the desire to forcibly accelerate the natural course of modernization could lead to social explosions and setbacks.

Thanks to this experience, the Indian ruling elite had a fairly good idea of what areas of transformation should take place, how deeply the foundations of traditional society could be affected, and what the pace of change might be. Having set a course for the democratic development of the country after its independence, it sought to maintain its connection with society, with a huge array of social grassroots. The political class could not do otherwise, because only this provided it with legitimacy in the public consciousness and, accordingly, the opportunity to be in power.

The tradition of maintaining close ties with the people, with their historical and civilizational roots, continued to be an important part of the democratic political culture of India. Of course, it also underwent significant changes associated with the expansion of market relations and the strengthening of individualism. However, traditional, group, and community values have not lost their significance. Most prominent political figures in India have been able to identify themselves through the mass consciousness using these values. But this did not mean that they were just traditionalists or that they were alien to new trends in the field of economics, ideology and politics. Due to the historical ties of the Indian ruling elite, or at least a significant part of it, with the West, it was open to the influence of various ideas. But I never borrowed them blindly, but adapted them to the conditions of my country.

The government's reforms have been criticized by its opponents on the left. They acknowledged that the government had managed to overcome the currency crisis, increase its foreign exchange reserves, that the economy was gradually gaining momentum, and that agricultural production had increased. However, all this was not enough to solve social problems. A sustainable framework for further poverty reduction has not been established. The reforms did not lead to a fundamental improvement in the lives of most of the population on the island.-

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this threatened further stratification of society. And this could cause a social explosion.

At the same time, the entire corporate sector, industrialists and their lobbyists were in favor of a decisive activation of the course towards liberalization and globalization of the economy. They insisted on freeing industry from state licensing and control, as well as on broad privatization of state property.

CREATING A MULTI-PARTY STRUCTURE AND DECENTRALIZING POWER

The country's development along the path of democracy as an important part of political and socio-economic modernization in a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional society with a huge variety of socio-economic conditions in different regions contributed to the creation of a multi-party structure and the decentralization of power.

During the four decades of the Congress ' almost uninterrupted stay in power, a political system developed in which the party acted as the main mobilizing force, as a kind of socio-political coalition that included representatives of different population groups united in the struggle to build an independent India under the slogans of democracy and secularism. However, these groups were not equal participants in the distribution of the results of independent development of the country. The Congress tried to preserve this loose unity, because it was aware that it could lose part of this coalition, and with it power. But with the cultural, socio-economic, and political development of each of these groups, including the backward strata and classes, this task became increasingly difficult.

The socio-political coalition, which was under the patronage of the Congress, gradually began to fall apart. This process, which began in the mid-1960s, developed rapidly in the second half of the 1970s and was largely completed by the mid-1990s. At the same time, new political structures were being created (first at the state level), which gradually began to fill the emerging political vacuum. Formulated by the opposition conservative religious and communal Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party - BJP, which replaced the Bharatiya Jana Sangh), the ideology of Hindu cultural nationalism proved to be largely in demand.

This was primarily due to the development of the middle class. The growing prosperity of this part of the population - merchants, officials, teachers, students, and the well - to-do peasantry-was accompanied by an increase in their cultural needs. Most of them focused on traditional Indian, or rather Hindu cultural and religious values.

At the same time, the ideas of social justice and secularism associated with the name of Jawaharlal Nehru were being eroded. The process was ambiguous. Over the past years, as a result of measures taken in the socio-economic sphere, the state has managed to make progress in solving the problems of socio-economic inequality. As a result, the lower social strata grew up and became stronger. They began to demand their share in the government of the country.

Despite the implementation of a number of major reforms to strengthen the country's political and economic independence and promote democracy, the Congress failed to meet the interests of these and other segments of the population, which began to find their political defenders in the face of both left and right parties. Under the pressure of these forces, the social and political base of the Congress began to narrow, and it began to lose influence.

A TURN IN THE COUNTRY'S POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

The coming to power of the BJP-led coalition Government in 1998 brought major changes to the country's political development. The ideology of the ruling elite has undergone major changes. Its main focus was on nationalism. Such concepts as socialism, social equality and justice have become a thing of the past. There have been changes in socio-economic policies in favor of the more affluent and affluent segments of the population.

At the same time, it was declared that the state will play an important role in the social sphere - health care, education, housing construction, ensuring food security of the country, etc. It also announced the need to protect domestic industry, set the task of rapid economic growth, ensuring employment and justice. In India's ruling circles, there was a struggle over the direction of further development of the country - the protection of domestic production or the liberalization and globalization of the economy.

For six decades, India has had to deal with complex socio-economic, political, ethno-linguistic and interfaith problems. One of them was and still is the problem of relations between the Hindu majority (80.5% of the population) and religious minorities, primarily Muslim (13.4%). This problem manifested itself in what was probably its most violent and bloody form during the partition of British India in 1947 into two States, India and Pakistan. The establishment of an independent India as a secular state contributed to the solution of many issues of Hindu-Muslim relations within the framework of a single country. However, in the 1990s, these problems again came to the surface of public life. This was largely due to the growing ideology of Hindutva (Hinduism) and the political influence of parties and organizations that profess these values.

One of the most significant events in this regard was the destruction of the Babur Mosque by Hindu fanatics in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) in 1992. As a result of clashes between Hindus and Muslims, many people were killed. The coming to power in 1998 of a coalition led by the pro-Hindu religious and communal Bharatiya Janata Party, supported by Hindu fundamentalist groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Union of Voluntary Servants of the Nation), further strengthened this process.

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In 2002, in the state of Gujarat, where these forces had the greatest influence, mass pogroms of Muslims took place, resulting in the death of more than a thousand people. These actions caused a wave of protest and indignation both in India and abroad. However, the BJP expressed confidence in the correct use of religion in the political struggle, calling it " a commitment to cultural nationalism." Moreover, she stated that this ideology will be widely accepted by the whole country7.

However, supporters of the aggressive Hindutva party were defeated in the next parliamentary elections in 2004. [8] They were replaced by a coalition led by the Indian National Congress, which accused the BJP of inciting religious and communal strife in Gujarat and encouraging "fascist" groups affiliated with it. [9] In the 2007 legislative assembly elections in the largest state of Uttar Pradesh (166 million people), the BJP was rejected by voters. Moreover, its mass influence there has decreased by almost half compared to the early 1990s. 10

The problem of confrontation between secular and chauvinistic religious and communal forces in India has attracted the attention of not only the Indian public, but also foreign experts and politicians. Martha Nasselbaum, a scholar at the University of Chicago, wrote that " the violent values of the Hindu right are borrowed from the European fascism of the 1930s." Criticizing the "clash of civilizations" theory of S. Huntington, she argued that "the picture of the world divided into democratic Western values and a Muslim monolith does not in any way help to understand present-day India" 11.

A COURSE FOR SOCIAL HARMONY

The new Congress-led coalition Government that came to power in 2004 set out to expand and deepen economic reforms based on further liberalization and globalization. And at the same time improve the living conditions of the majority of the country's population.

The Government's program has set out the following main tasks: strengthening social harmony in society; ensuring sustainable economic growth of at least 7-8% per year; maintaining a strong and efficient public sector, whose social functions should be complemented by its commercialization; using the proceeds from privatization for the benefit of low-income social strata; improving the welfare of farmers, agricultural and industrial workers women's participation in political and economic life and in education; ensuring equal opportunities, especially in education and employment, for lower castes and tribes (more than 250 million people), as well as "other backward classes" and religious minorities; supporting businessmen, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers,etc. other professionals in unlocking their creative potential; encouraging foreign direct investment in infrastructure, high-tech and export industries 12.

India has never stopped searching for ways to solve existing problems and meet new challenges of the time. At the same time, it did not adhere to any one ideology, but chose the economic model that contributed to solving these problems. In this regard, Nehru said that first of all it is necessary to solve the main problems of providing the population with food, clothing, housing, and no matter what the government will call itself - capitalist, socialist or something else. If you do not complete this task, it will be swept away, and another one will come instead.

RESULTS OF INDEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT

During the years of independence, India has done a great job of transforming the colonial socio-economic system into a state-capitalist one based on a mixed economy. This has provided an evolutionary, gradual development in a country with extreme socio-economic backwardness, huge unemployment and poverty of a large part of the population. At the same time, serious social explosions and upheavals were avoided.

A mixed economy with a large public sector contributed to the formation of a relatively developed infrastructure, as well as significant progress towards solving socio-economic issues. As a result of the agrarian reforms, there was a certain redistribution of land on the basis of private ownership and rent in favor of those peasants who did not have land or had small plots. During the years of independence, the main branches of modern industry were created. All this has helped to achieve a high degree of economic independence, to train qualified personnel of scientists, specialists, engineers, and workers. A fairly strong middle class emerged (according to some estimates, up to 300 million people), which began to exert a growing influence on the entire life of the country. India's trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural ties with many countries have expanded many times.

Modernization of production and acceleration of economic growth contributed to improving the living standards of the country's population. Since independence, per capita income has almost tripled, the literacy rate has increased from 18% to 65%, and life expectancy has increased from 32 to 64 years. During the same period, the birth rate decreased by one and a half times and the death rate tripled. Only from 1973 to 2001, the share of the population below the poverty line decreased, according to official data, from 54.9% to 26.1% .13 In some states, human development indicators are much closer to the European average. So, in Kerala, life expectancy was more than 73 years, literacy-more than 90%, birth rate-13 people, mortality-6.2 people (per thousand). Thus, there are already entire regions in India that can serve as a reference point for other states. At the same time, there are still many socially and economically backward states in the country, such as Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and a number of others.14

The development of entrepreneurship in India is mainly due to the promotion of private investment in the real sector of the economy.

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Expanding the freedom of market forces is combined with the active role of the state in solving the most important socio-economic and political problems - employment, poverty, health, education, reaching the forefront of scientific and technological progress, ensuring the unity of the country, national security and competitiveness of the economy in the context of globalization. The acceleration of economic growth is supported by a noticeable increase in the consumption of durable goods by the Indian population in recent years.

Many branches of Indian industry have become competitive in the global market. India's achievements in the development of the knowledge economy are particularly noticeable. The Indian software industry is the fastest growing in the world (18.5% of the global market). In 2004, its revenues amounted to more than $ 22 billion, in 2008 they may exceed $ 53 billion, and by 2012-about $ 150 billion. United States dollars. In total, the information technology and services market in India employs about 15 million people.

In the late XX - early XXI centuries, there was an active departure of Indian information technology specialists to the West. However, the improving economic situation in India has caused a "reverse brain drain" from Western countries, primarily from the United States.

India's advances in knowledge-based technologies can also boost its competitive advantage in other areas, including a number of engineering and research industries, especially biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture.

The results achieved over the years of independence are major achievements of the Indian state and society. However, serious social problems continue to hold back the country's development. Chief among them are a large number of the poor and illiterate. The problem of eliminating poverty and improving the living conditions of this huge mass of people remains an important priority in the state's activities. Despite the high rate of economic development (up to 8% per year in recent years), India remains a country with a huge income gap. This gives rise to a number of Indian commentators to say that in reality there are" two Indies " - poor and rich.16

FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES

India's economic development and domestic policy are inextricably linked to its foreign policy. The main objective of this course is to establish India as one of the world's leading powers. Changes in the world in recent years have objectively contributed to strengthening the position and growing influence of India, which really claims to be a great power in the XXI century. As its economy grows, it is increasingly involved in world affairs. India adapts flexibly to changes on the world stage, based on fundamental considerations of protecting national interests and security. Despite large-scale unresolved problems, India, as the largest democracy, successfully overcomes internal and external difficulties, and preserves the unity and integrity of the state. It has accepted the changing world with all its complexities and is actively using new opportunities to strengthen its economic and political position.

Indian foreign policy is characterized by pragmatism, a realistic assessment of current events in the world, and a global coverage of the main economic and political problems facing the world community. The emerging new structure of power and influence in the current world forces developing countries, including India, to adapt to new conditions and a new balance of power. If earlier they were able to take advantage of the competition of superpowers for control in world affairs, in the current situation, these countries are faced with the need to radically revise many of their foreign policy positions.

Since the early 1990s. India has gone through a difficult path of adaptation to the changed conditions in the world, including in connection with the loss of the position of the Non-Aligned Movement, of which it was the leader. This process of finding its rightful place, corresponding to the potential of a billion-dollar country, is still ongoing. By modifying its foreign policy course to meet the demands of the times, India is not on the path of abandoning the past. Its course is a continuation and development of the foreign policy of the previous decades. This policy is essentially consensual, that is, it enjoys the support of the majority of society.

India, perhaps more acutely than any other major power, feels the main challenges facing humanity, including those related to the current stage of globalization. There are at least two main reasons for this heightened perception of contemporary issues. The first is the long historical experience of a country that has passed through many trials, defeats and victories and has preserved its identity, diversity and unity. And the second is the scale of its internal problems. Indians have always been open to all winds, all trends and all influences. But they have always preserved their national identity. India proceeds from the expediency of creating a multipolar world. The architecture of such a world in the coming years will be determined by the national interests of countries, and not by the narrowing of their sovereignty. At the same time, States can cooperate on economic issues and seriously disagree on political issues and geostrategic goals.

India's international influence has been boosted by the creation of powerful armed forces with nuclear weapons and other modern military equipment. India's desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council also meets this goal.

RUSSIAN-INDIAN COOPERATION

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the USSR and India in 1947, a few months before the declaration of its independence, served both their interests and the tasks of building a safer and more just world order. Equal cooperation between our countries has played a major role in the development of the world economy.

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shaping the climate of good neighborliness in Asia and around the world. All this was given a powerful impetus by the signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the USSR and India in 1971.

After the end of the Cold war, the adaptation of Russia and India to the new conditions in the world took place with considerable costs and difficulties. This was determined not only by the changed configuration of forces in the international arena, but also by internal processes in both countries.

Since the late 1990s, Russia has begun to break out of the vicious circle of unilateral orientation towards the West and pursue a policy of diversifying its foreign policy ties. It began to face the East, including India.

Our countries share common values and have a vast experience of mutually beneficial cooperation on the world stage. Major initiatives to strengthen ties with India are now needed. This would be facilitated by Russia's firm support for India's aspiration to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and by the intensification of our joint activities in Central Asia, as well as in the framework of Russia-India-China trilateral meetings, in the fight against international terrorism.

The most priority areas of Russian-Indian cooperation are energy, high technologies, telecommunications, space, as well as military-technical cooperation.

Russia and India encourage the development of investment in the energy sector of both countries. India is interested in long-term cooperation with Russia in the construction of nuclear power plants. Currently, the construction of two power units of the Kudankulam NPP with a total capacity of 2000 MW is being completed. In 2007, an agreement was reached to build two additional nuclear reactors at this nuclear power plant, as well as several nuclear power plants in other parts of India.

There are good prospects for Russian-Indian cooperation in the field of information technology. It already covers about 300 projects of scientific and industrial significance. Joint research centers study such topical topics as biotechnology, seismology, offshore hydrocarbon production, and atmospheric process modeling. A joint Russian-Indian center is operating in Moscow, which uses an Indian supercomputer to study microelectronics, medicine and ecology problems. It is planned to open five more joint research centers.

Military-technical cooperation between Russia and India is gradually moving to broader forms, including scientific development, production, maintenance and joint exercises. A convincing example of such cooperation is the joint development and production of the BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile. Russia and India have in principle reached an agreement on joint work on the creation of a multi-purpose transport aircraft, and negotiations are underway on the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter jet.

Despite the existing problems, Russian-Indian relations are beginning to emerge from the stagnation of the 1990s to a level corresponding to their strategic partnership. Bilateral relations between the two countries in key areas of economic, scientific, cultural and military-technical cooperation meet the goals of international security, the fight against terrorism, and the strengthening of collective instruments of world politics, primarily the UN.

India is interested in maintaining and developing relations with Russia in the near and long term. This is due to the pragmatic approach of its leadership to solving both domestic and foreign policy tasks and ambitions.

Today we are talking about the need for a breakthrough in Russian-Indian relations in the main areas of cooperation-political, economic, scientific and technical, defense and intellectual.

India is of interest to Russia because it is developing on the basis of a mixed economy, in which the state plays a significant role in its management, in the desire to achieve social justice and preserve social peace.

India has developed the main elements of a market economy and has a rich experience of interaction with international financial institutions, multinational corporations and foreign firms.

For many years, India has been implementing economic reforms, liberalizing the economy and opening it up to global influence. At the same time, the state retains reliable levers in its hands. With a population of over a billion people, India is one of the world's most promising and largest markets.

India is a well-known and predictable partner for Russia, both in the economy and in politics. The decades of our fruitful cooperation with it have not been marred by conflicts or clashes. The development of balanced and stable relations with India, as one of the key countries, is a priority task of Russia's foreign policy. India is our natural strategic partner on the world stage. This partnership has good prospects.


1 The Constitution of India. Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 2000. Articles 12 - 30, 31A-31C.

2 Voter Turnout Since 1945. A Global Report. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) 2002, p. 83, 84.

3 The Constitution of India.., Articles 243, 243A-243C, 243E, 243P-243R, 243U.

4 Ibid., Article 243D.

Vajpayee A.B. 5 Bharatiya Jana Sangh // General Election in India 1967. Ed. M.Pattabhiram. Allied Publishers. Bombay, Calcutta et al. 1967, p. 73 - 82.

Reginin A. I. 6 Indian National Congress. Essays on ideology and Politics (the 60s and the first half of the 70s). Moscow, 1978, pp. 203-205.

7 The Indian Express. 09.01.2003.

8 Election Commission of India - General Elections 2004. National Summary. 09.06.2004.

9 Lok Sabha Elections, 2004. Manifesto of the Indian National Congress, p. 10, 11; Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance.

Praful Bidwai. 10 Creating History // Frontline, May 19 -June 1, 2007.

11 http://sifynews.com/22.05.2007.

12 Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance.

13 Five Year Plan. 2002 - 2007. Vol. III. Planning Commission. Government of India. New Delhi, p. 48 - 58.

14 Ibid., p. 48 - 55.

Shvartz I. 15 Biznes s mozgami [Business with brains]. Guide. 25.01.2007, p. 33.

Jayati Ghosh. 16 What is Driving the Economic Boom? // Frontline, May 19 -June 1, 2007.


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