There has been a tendency in recent years to treat the development strategy followed by India for the first forty odd years after independence as an undifferentiated continuum. Nothing could be farther from the truth, points out K.C. Pant. He emphasises that India's development strategies have evolved from Plan to Plan in response to the objective conditions of the economy and some of these changes have been strikingly bold and original, others more modest; but change there has been. Right since independence, we have equated development with industrialisation. The role of the agricultural sector in generating demand for industrial goods, through a wide dispersal of purchasing power, has been seriously under-estimated in the past. It is now clear that unless the incomes of the majority of our people who are engaged in agriculture grow rapidly, acceleration in the growth of industry and most services will simply not be possible. Therefore, unless our agricultural sector grows sufficiently fast, we face the spectre of growing unemployment and of even greater underemployment of our work force.
This would place an intolerable burden on the fabric of our society and may eventually thwart all our development efforts.