Local people are those who have merged their individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in [1,2,3A]
1. “Socio-economic units will give expression to popular sentiments and fight against all forms of exploitation to meet the demands and aspirations of the local people. Movements will have to be launched throughout the world to establish self-sufficient socio-economic units based on the maxim, “Know the area, prepare the plan and serve the people.” Local people are those who have merged their individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, October 1979, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Groupifications, Criteria for Groupification
2. “100% Employment for Local People
First, there should be 100% employment for the local people. The basic right of all people is to be guaranteed the minimum essentials for their existence, including at least proper food, clothing, housing, education and medical care. This basic right should be arranged through cent per cent guaranteed employment, not through welfare or dole-outs. Unemployment is a critical economic problem in the world today and 100% employment of the local people is the only way to solve this problem.
Local people are defined as those who have merged individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in. The primary consideration is whether or not people have merged their individual interests with their socio-economic unit, regardless of their colour, creed, race, mother tongue, birthplace, etc. Those who earn their livelihood in a particular socio-economic unit but spend their earnings in another socio-economic unit should be considered as outsiders or non-local people, as this practice is not in accordance with the interests of the socioeconomic unit in which they are employed. It results in the drainage of the capital necessary for the continued growth of that unit and undermines its economic development.
Capitalists, in either their singular or collective forms, are the most pernicious economic exploiters today. All over the world they are continually exploiting local economies and draining their wealth. In nearly all cases the profits they accrue are spent outside the local area and remitted to outside stockholders and parent companies. An essential measure to control this economic exploitation is that the speculative markets in all countries of the world should be closed down immediately.
To create 100% employment among local people, PROUT supports both a short term and a long term economic plan. In the short term plan, labour intensive industries based on the collective minimum requirements of life should be started immediately or made more productive where they already exist. These industries should be based on the consumption motive. They should also provide a rational profit in order to guarantee adequate purchasing capacity to those employed in them and to ensure their continued existence and growth. In North Bihar, for example, where there is virtually no industry, all kinds of agrico and agro-industries can be developed to alleviate the unemployment problem there.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 31 December 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Movements
3A. “Principles of Decentralized Economy
The first principle of decentralized economy is that all the resources in a socio-economic unit should be controlled by the local people. In particular, the resources which are required to produce the minimum requirements must be in local hands, and all the industries based on these resources will have to be controlled entirely by the local people. Local raw materials must be fully utilized to produce all kinds of commodities necessary for the economic development of a socio-economic unit.
Local people are those who have merged their individual socio-economic interests with the socio-economic interests of the socio-economic unit they live in. Clearly, this concept of local people has nothing to do with physical complexion, race, caste, creed, language or birth place. The fundamental issue is whether or not each person or family has identified their individual socio-economic interests with the collective interests of the concerned socio-economic unit. Those who have not done so should be branded as outsiders.
No outsider should be allowed to interfere in local economic affairs or in the system of production and distribution, otherwise a floating population will develop, causing the outflow of economic wealth from the local area. If this occurs the area will become vulnerable to outside economic exploitation and decentralized economy will be undermined.
The surplus wealth, after meeting the minimum requirements of the people in the local area, should be distributed among the meritorious people according to the degree of their merit. For example, doctors, engineers, scientists and other capable people engaged in various activities require extra amenities so that they can perform greater service to society. While a common person may require a bicycle, a doctor may require a car. But there must also be provision in the economy for reducing the gap between the minimum requirements of all and the amenities of meritorious people. To increase the standard of living of common people, they may be provided with scooters instead of bicycles. Although there is some difference between a scooter and a car, the gap that existed between a car and a bicycle has been partially reduced. The economic gap between common people and meritorious people should be reduced as much as possible, and ceaseless efforts must be made in this regard, but this gap will never vanish altogether. If the gap increases, the common people will be deprived and exploitation will re-emerge in society in the guise of amenities. Decentralized economy leaves no such loophole because on the one hand the standard of the minimum requirements must be increased, and on the other hand the provision of amenities will be assessed from the viewpoint of the collective welfare.
The second principle of decentralized economy is that production should be based on consumption, not profit. Most countries in the world have adopted economic systems which are profit oriented – that is, production is undertaken for profit. Producers give first preference to those items which bring maximum profit, so everywhere there is keen competition regarding the production of the most profitable goods. India is no exception. To increase the standard of living of the people, a new system of production will have to be introduced. Consumption, not profit, should be the underlying motive in the field of production.
In a decentralized economy the commodities produced by a socio-economic unit will be sold in the local market itself. As a result, there will be no uncertainty in the local economy or the economic life of the local population. In addition, money will be circulated within the local market so there will be no outflow of local capital. The possibility of an economic catastrophe in the local economy will be largely eliminated. In such a system, people’s income will have an upward trend and their purchasing capacity will continuously increase. No economic system in the world has been able to continuously increase the purchasing capacity of the people, because economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few.
The third principle of decentralized economy is that production and distribution should be organized through cooperatives. One of the principal reasons for the past failure of the cooperative movement is economic centralization. It is extremely difficult for cooperatives to succeed in an economic environment of exploitation, corruption and materialism, so people cannot accept the cooperative system wholeheartedly. Cooperatives are forced to compete with the monopoly capitalists for local markets, and the rights of the local people over their raw materials are not recognized. Such circumstances have undermined the success of the cooperative movement in many countries of the world.
On the other hand, decentralized economy is one of the principal reasons for the success of the cooperative system. The availability of local raw materials will guarantee constant supplies to cooperative enterprises, and cooperatively produced goods can be easily sold in the local market. Economic certainty will create increasing interest and involvement among the cooperative members, and as the local people will be confident of their economic security, they can wholeheartedly accept the cooperative system.
As far as possible, agriculture, industry and trade should be managed through cooperatives. In these sectors of the economy private ownership should be abolished in stages. Only where production cannot be undertaken by cooperatives because of the complex nature or small scale of operations should it be undertaken by private enterprises. The distribution of commodities should be done through consumers cooperatives. Adequate safeguards for cooperatives will also have to be arranged.
The cooperative system is a must, and it is only possible through decentralized economy. The cooperative system and decentralized economy are inseparable.
The fourth principle of decentralized economy is that the local people must be employed in local economic enterprises. Unless the local people are fully employed in the local economy, unemployment can never be solved. Local people should determine the quantum of minimum requirements and the basic policies connected with their own economic well-being. If this principle is followed the problem of outside interference in the local economy will not arise at all.
Cooperatives will provide employment for local people, and also ensure that the skills and expertise of the local people are fully utilized. Educated people should also be employed in cooperatives so that they do not leave the local area in search of employment or move from the countryside to the cities.
For the development of agriculture there is a great need for specialists and technicians, so cooperatives will have to train unskilled rural people so that they can acquire the necessary skills to develop the agricultural sector. In addition, all types of agro-industries and agrico-industries will have to be developed according to the needs and resources of the local area, and these industries should be managed as cooperatives.
The fifth principle of decentralized economy is that commodities which are not locally produced should be removed from the local markets. As decentralized economy aims to develop local industries and create employment for the local population, those commodities which are not produced within the local area should be banished from the local market as far as possible. It is essential that the local population utilize the commodities produced in their own area to ensure the prosperity of the local economy. Initially, local commodities may be inferior, more costly or less readily available than outside commodities, yet in spite of this, locally produced commodities should still be used by the local people. If local commodities do not meet the needs and aspirations of the people, immediate steps must be taken to increase the quality, reduce the price and increase the supply of local goods, otherwise illegal imports will be encouraged.
In a decentralized economy, the application of this principle is very important. If it is neglected, the local industries will gradually close down, local markets will go out of the hands of the local people and unemployment will increase. Once locally produced goods are accepted in principle, not only will local industries survive, but with their further development the local economy will thrive. The outflow of capital from the local area will be checked, and because it will remain in the local area, it will be utilized to increase production and enhance the prosperity of the local people. With the increasing demand for local commodities, large-scale, medium-scale and small-scale industries will all flourish.
The agricultural, industrial and trade policies of a socio-economic unit will have to be formulated according to the principles of decentralized economy. The maximum utilization and rational distribution of local resources and potentialities to ensure full employment should be given priority, keeping in view that there should be uniform economic development in all regions of a socio-economic unit.
The members of the cooperatives should decide the policies concerning such things as agricultural production, price fixation and the sale of agricultural commodities. Local people should not only control cooperative bodies, but supervise all activities related to the local economy. The local administration will have to assist the economic development of cooperatives. The price of agricultural commodities should be fixed on a rational basis by taking into account the price of commodities; the cost of labour, raw materials, transportation and storage; depreciation; sinking funds; etc. In addition, this price should include a rational profit of not more than fifteen percent of the cost of production. In a decentralized economy agriculture will have the same status as industry.
The industrial system must also be reorganized according to the principles of decentralized economy. If a certain part of a country is over-industrialized, it will impede the economic progress of other regions. Economic decentralization will not allow such a situation to arise. In a decentralized economy, key industries, medium-scale industries and small-scale industries will be managed by different groups of people. In a centralized economy – whether capitalist or communist – these industries are usually managed as either private companies or state enterprises. Most key industries should be managed by the local government but they should be guided by the principle of “no profit, no loss”. Most medium-scale industries should be managed as cooperatives, but they should not be guided by monopoly production and profit. The cooperative sector will be the main sector of the economy. Cooperatives are the best means to organize local people independently, guarantee their livelihood and enable them to control their economic welfare. Most small-scale and cottage industries will be in the hands of individual owners. Small-scale industries should be confined mainly to the production of non-essential commodities such as luxury items. Though privately owned, they must maintain adjustment with the cooperative sector to ensure a balanced economy.
A rural economy should not depend solely on cottage industries, otherwise the economic welfare of the rural population will be jeopardized. If cottage industries are properly organized, rural women will also get ample scope to earn a decent livelihood. Cooperatives and the local administration will have to take the responsibility of supplying cottage industries with raw materials so that they do not suffer from scarcity.
The local administration will also have to arrange for the supply of sufficient power to facilitate industrial production. Every region in a socio-economic unit must strive to be self-sufficient in power generation. The local administration will have to supply locally generated power such as solar energy, thermal energy, bio-gas, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, pneumatic energy, electromagnetic energy and tidal power, or any other power which is easily available locally. The generation of power is a key industry which should be run on a no profit, no loss basis so that the cost of production is minimized and the purchasing capacity of the people is increased. For example, if batteries are produced through cottage industries, power should be supplied on a no profit, no loss basis, but the battery producers will be able to sell their batteries at a rational profit. Here the power that is used to manufacture the batteries is not an industrial commodity but a raw material. The power for such things as transportation, communication, schools, colleges and hospitals should also be supplied on a no profit, no loss basis to maintain social dynamism. The immediate government or the state government will have to take the responsibility to supply power as a key industry.
All kinds of industrial activities from key industries to cottage industries should be organized with the cooperation of the local population. Care should also be taken so that private enterprises are set up by the local people. Local people must be given preference in employment, and all local people should be locally employed. If this policy is followed, there will be no surplus or deficit labour among the local people, and if many people do come from outside areas, they will not find a place in the local economy. Where a floating population exists in a particular region, the outflow of capital remains unchecked and the economic development of the area is undermined.
Trade in a decentralized economy should be organized by distributing commodities through consumers cooperatives. There will be no income tax, but there should be a tax levied on the production of each commodity. Commodities should be exported from one region or socio-economic unit to other regions or units through cooperatives.
In the decentralized economy of PROUT, exporting local raw materials is not supported. Only finished goods should be exported under certain circumstances. After all the requirements of the local people in a socio-economic unit have been met, the surplus goods may be exported, but only to a socio-economic unit which has no immediate opportunity or potential to produce them, in order to meet the requirements of the people in that unit. And even then, the whole transaction of importation and exportation should be undertaken directly by cooperatives, and the exportation of commodities must not be motivated by profit. If there are insufficient raw materials in any socio-economic unit to meet the minimum requirements of the local people, the necessary raw materials may be imported from another socio-economic unit providing it can be carefully verified that the raw materials in the latter unit are surplus. Free trade should be encouraged once self-sufficiency is attained, as this will help facilitate increased prosperity and encourage economic parity among socio-economic units, and lead to the formation of larger socio-economic units.
Another important characteristic of decentralized economy is that money will always remain in circulation, hence the economy will move with accelerating speed. The value of money depends on the extent of its circulation. The more frequently money changes hands, the greater its economic value. The greater the value of money, the greater the prosperity in individual and collective life, and the greater the opportunities for all-round welfare.
There is a close relationship between the economic prosperity of people and their psychic and cultural development. Improvements in individual and collective life will lead to the all-round welfare of people. If local people do not develop a sense of self-confidence in their economic activities, then they become mentally weak, and this inherent weakness becomes an impediment to their economic well-being. Such a community will become an easy victim of economic, political and psycho-economic exploitation by vested interests. This unhealthy situation must be firmly resisted. Thus, the local language is to be used in all local dealings and transactions. That is, the local language should be used in the administration, the education system, the economy, and in cultural activities. All official and non-official bodies and offices of a particular socio-economic unit should use the local language as the medium of communication.
The overall well-being of society is the ultimate goal of decentralized economy. This is a comprehensive ideal and should be established in each and every socio-economic unit. It will bring about economic prosperity as well as ensure greater opportunities for the psycho-spiritual elevation of all members of society.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 16 March 1982, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Decentralized Economy – 1, Principles of Decentralized Economy
“There is only one way to stop economic exploitation and alleviate the plight of the common people, and that is to implement a policy of decentralized economy in all the sectors of the economy. Successful planning can never be done by sitting in an air conditioned office thousands of miles away from the place where planning is to be undertaken. Centralized economy can never solve the economic problems of remote villages. Economic planning must start from the lowest level, where the experience, expertise and knowledge of the local people can be harnessed for the benefit of all the members of a socio-economic unit. All types of economic problems can be solved only when economic structures are built on the basis of decentralized economy.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 16 March 1982, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Decentralized Economy – 1
“Local people should get first preference in participating in cooperative enterprises.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1979, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Some Specialities of Prout’s Economic System, The Cooperative System
“To materialize the above economic programme, PROUT advocates a new and unique approach to decentralization based on the formation of socio-economic units throughout the world. Socio-economic units should be formed on the basis of factors such as common economic problems; uniform economic potentialities; ethnic similarities; common geographical features; and people’s sentimental legacy, which arises out of common socio-cultural ties like language and cultural expression. Each socio-economic unit will be completely free to chalk out its own economic plan and the methods of its implementation.
Within each socio-economic unit there will also be decentralized planning, which is called “block-level planning” in PROUT. Block-level planning boards will be the lowest level planning bodies.
One political unit such as a federal or unitary state may contain a number of socio-economic units. For example, the state of Bihar in India can be divided into five socio-economic units – Angadesh, Magadh, Mithila, Bhojpuri and Nagpuri. Based on the above factors the whole of India may be divided into forty-four socio-economic units. These units must be guaranteed full freedom to achieve economic self-sufficiency through the implementation of their own economic planning and policies.
If the local people in these units organize large-scale programmes for their all-round socio-economic and cultural liberation, there will be a widespread socio-economic awakening in the whole of India. Regardless of whether they are rich or poor, old or young, educated or illiterate, if the local people are inspired by anti-exploitation and universal sentiments, they will be able to start powerful movements for socio-economic liberation. When people merge their individual socio-economic interests with the collective socio-economic interest, the outflow of economic wealth from a region will cease and exploitation will be completely rooted out. The right of full employment for all local people will be guaranteed, and the employment of local people will take precedence over non-local people.
Where there is no proper economic development, surplus labour develops. In fact all undeveloped economic regions suffer from surplus labour, and when the surplus labour migrates to other regions the region remains undeveloped forever. In areas of surplus labour provision should be made to immediately employ the local people.
While providing employment to local people, local sentiments should also be taken into consideration. Maximum agro-industries and agrico-industries should be established on the basis of the socio-economic potential of the region, and various other types of industries should be established according to the collective needs. This approach will create enormous opportunities for new employment. Through such an employment policy, increasing the standard of living of the local people will be possible.
In a decentralized socio-economic system the modernization of industry and agriculture can be easily introduced, and the goods that are produced will be readily available in the market. As each socio-economic unit develops its economic potential, per capita income disparities among different regions will decline and the economic position of undeveloped regions can be raised to that of developed regions. When every region becomes economically self-reliant, the whole country will rapidly achieve economic self-sufficiency. Economic prosperity will be enjoyed by each and every person.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1979, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Some Specialities of Prout’s Economic System, Decentralization
“Fourthly, many large capitalists deliberately influence the economic and political policies of a local area by preventing the growth of local industries based on the local raw materials. They further exploit the local people by selling manufactured goods in the local markets which are made from locally produced raw materials. Australia, for example, imports many manufactured goods from Japan which are produced from Australian raw materials. Encouraging the growth of local industries based on local raw materials will terminate the dominance individual and collective capitalists exercise over the local markets, ending the drainage of capital vital for the local area’s economic growth.” - Sarkar, Prabhat, 31 December 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Movements, Maximum Industrial Development
“The fifth point of PROUT’s approach is that the local language should be the medium of communication in governmental, and non-governmental institutions and offices. When the British were ruling India, they concentrated their economic activities in a few centers like Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras. The indigenous capitalist class, who were in collusion with the Britishers, usually brought in labourers and managers from outside the local area to disrupt the local economy and make it amenable to their control. The English language was imposed on local people, and the British administration went to great lengths to train up tens of thousands of Indian clerks in the English system of education to ensure British cultural dominance of the Indian economy.
So, if the local people demand that the local language should be the medium of expression in the workplace, the nonlocal people who control the local industries can be forced out of the local area, creating more opportunities for the local people.” - Sarkar, Prabhat, 31 December 1984, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 13, Socio-Economic Movements, The Local Language as the Primary Means of Communication
“In a decentralized economy, economic planning is to be undertaken for the welfare of the local people. Economic planning will utilize all the mundane and supramundane potentialities of the local area to meet the local requirements.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Block-Level Planning
“In economic democracy, economic and political power are bifurcated. That is, PROUT advocates political centralization and economic decentralization. Political power is vested with the moralists, but economic power is vested with the local people. The principal goal of the administration is to remove all the impediments and obstacles which prevent the economic needs of the people being met. The universal aim of economic democracy is to guarantee the minimum requirements of life to all members of society.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1986, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Economic Democracy, Economic Decentralization
“The second requirement for economic democracy is that increasing purchasing capacity must be guaranteed to each and every individual. In economic democracy local people will hold economic power. Consequently, local raw materials will be used to promote the economic prosperity of the local people. That is to say, the raw materials of one socio-economic unit should not be exported to another unit. Instead, industrial centres should be built up wherever raw materials are available. This will create industries based on locally available raw materials and ensure full employment for all local people.
The third requirement for economic democracy is that the power to make all economic decisions must be placed in the hands of the local people. Economic liberation is the birthright of every individual. To achieve it, economic power must be vested in the local people. In economic democracy the local people will have the power to make all economic decisions, to produce commodities on the basis of collective necessity, and to distribute all agricultural and industrial commodities.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1986, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 21, Economic Democracy, Requirements for Economic Democracy
“Proutistic economic planning is based on the ideal of the welfare of all. This guiding ideal will illuminate the path of socio-economic liberation for human beings. Capitalist planning is not based on collective welfare but on individual or group interests. A principal characteristic of capitalist exploitation is that capitalists gain control over the raw materials in a region in the pursuit of profit. This should not be allowed to continue. Rather, available resources must be utilized for the socio-economic development of local people.
In Proutistic economic planning, every section of society will come within the scope of planning. Not only will it be possible to fulfil the economic hopes and aspirations of the local people, but individual, group or party interests will get no scope to control the economy. Through this approach, it is possible to effect the all-round growth of individuals and the collectivity. The formation of such a socio-economic environment will not only fulfil the material needs of human beings, but will also provide a firm foundation for their psychic and spiritual elevation.”…
…”While formulating economic plans and programmes, the hopes and aspirations of the local people must be taken into consideration.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, November, 1979, Proutist Economics, Developmental Planning, Decentralized Planning
“At the very outset, the fascist exploiters select a weak community which inhabits a region rich in natural resources. The fascists socially and culturally uproot the victimized community by imposing a foreign language and culture on them. Because the local people cannot easily express their individual and collective feelings and sentiments in a foreign language, they develop a defeatist psychology and inferiority complex with respect to the exploiters. This defeatist psychology destroys the natural spiritedness and will to fight of the local people, and the fascists skillfully utilize this golden opportunity. The primary interest of the fascist exploiters is to gradually suck the vitality of the local community so that they can pillage and plunder their natural resources, but if necessary they will even obliterate the local community from the face of the earth.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Economic Exploitation of Bengal, Fascist Exploitation
“PROUT believes in a decentralized economy. So policies must be adopted which not only develop one particular region, but accelerate all-round development at a uniform pace throughout the entire socio-economic area through the planned utilization of all local resources and potentialities. To achieve this aim, local people must first be employed in agricultural cooperatives.
In modern India there are two distinct areas – one of surplus labour and the other of deficit labour. That is why people usually migrate from surplus labour areas to other regions. However, the very concept of surplus labour is a relative one. Where adequate opportunities for proper economic development have not been created, there is surplus labour. Labour becomes surplus in all undeveloped socio-economic areas. When surplus labour moves to another region, the undeveloped area has every chance of remaining undeveloped forever.
According to PROUT, wherever there is surplus labour, top priority must be given to creating employment for all local labour. This policy will raise the standard of living of the local people and the whole area. If this policy is not implemented and surplus labour is allowed to move to other regions, and the Marxist policy that, “those who sow shall reap” is followed, then all tea plantations, coal mines and other natural resources will be controlled by outside labour. Local people will lose control over their natural resources. This will create a very dangerous situation.
PROUT’s opinion is that local people must have first priority in employment opportunities. As long as there is not full employment for local people, continuous efforts must be made until all local labour is fully employed. In addition, no fresh developmental programmes will be started until there is further demand for labour. Scandinavian countries did not commence any new development schemes for this reason.
While creating employment for the local people, consideration must be given to local sentiments. For instance, many areas of India are regions of surplus intellectual labour. People in this category are ready to work as clerks for the very low wage of thirty rupees a month, but they are not prepared to work as porters and earn more money. The problem of surplus intellectual labour is a special one and should be solved in a proper way. In these areas industries which require less manual labour should be established. Thus, different development schemes will have to be adopted in different socio-economic units depending upon time, place and person.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, date not known, Prout in a Nutshell Part 7, Agrarian Revolution, Solving Unemployment
“Productivity: The economy will have to be organized in such a way that it has its own innate power to produce more and more. Money should be invested – money should be kept rolling rather than hoarded – so that the collective wealth of society is continually increased.
This principle guides planners so that maximum production will occur according to the collective needs. There should be increasing production based on consumption and full employment for all local people. Products should be developed wherever raw materials are available, and under utilization of any production unit should not be allowed.
If people are guided by the needs and potentialities of their socio-economic unit, the law of productivity is benign. Maximum production in the economy will provide a congenial environment for more investment, more industrialization, more employment, increasing purchasing capacity and increasing collective wealth in an ever progressive manner.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Block-Level Planning, Factors of Planning
“The immediate goals of planning at each level are to guarantee the minimum requirements of the local people, eliminate unemployment, increase purchasing capacity and make socio-economic units self-sufficient.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Block-Level Planning, Block-Level Planning
“There are many benefits to block-level planning. The area of planning is small enough for the planners to understand all the problems of the area; local leadership will be able to solve the problems according to local priorities; planning will be more practical and effective and will give quick, positive results; local socio-cultural bodies can play an active role in mobilizing human and material resources; unemployment will be easily solved; the purchasing capacity of the local people will be enhanced; and a base for a balanced economy will be established.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Block-Level Planning, Benefits of Block-Level Planning
“As examples we may cite Howrah, Hooghly, 24 Parganas and Burdwan in West Bengal. Most of the manual labourers in these districts are outsiders, hence the local people will never experience a good standard of living. However industrially developed or over-industrialized these districts might become, they will be seriously affected by the harmful internal consequences of over-industrialization, and will never enjoy any of the benefits of industrialization. This miserable picture can be seen every morning and evening in Howrah District.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 6 April 1986, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 12, Principles of Balanced Economy – Section A
“Exploitation exists in every sphere of life – the social, economic, cultural and psychic. Exploiters do not care whether an area is a surplus labour or deficit labour area. Bhojpuri is a surplus labour area, while parts of Bengal and Assam are deficit labour areas. All of these areas are exploited. Angadesh and Assam are the worst affected areas. In Angadesh, Bhagalpur and Monghyr are the only cities, and in these two cities outside exploiters dominate. They have no sympathy for the local people, their language or their sentimental legacy. Ranchi is also controlled by outside exploiters, while in Orissa land and assets are in the hands of outsiders. In India elections are very costly. Money for elections comes from both local capitalists and foreign agencies.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 21 April 1989, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, Bihar, Angadesh
“Amongst the different ethnic groups of the northeastern region of India, an atmosphere of cordiality and fraternity has to be developed. Amongst the Bangali Hindus and Bangali Muslims, cordial ties must also be well-established. All kinds of social, economic, cultural and educational activities must be accelerated. This work should continue with a lot of intelligence and tact. Movements and agitations against the exploitation and deprivation of the local people must be launched immediately, and the Bengali speaking areas must be brought within the purview of the Bangalistan movement. The future of the entire northeastern region of India is very bright.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 20 April 1989, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 20, Northeastern India
“Some time ago, those who could not speak English were considered to be uneducated, and even now this is the case, even if the person is a scholar in Sanskrit. This is another result of injecting inferiority complexes.
The very purpose of injecting an inferiority complex is to exploit people on the psychic level, and this is exactly what happens in many spheres of social life. In some places you may notice some signboards written in a language not used by the local people. What is the purpose of putting up a signboard? It is just to give the local people certain information. If the letters are written in the language of the ruling exploiters and not in the language of the exploited – or if the local language is printed in small and humble letters underneath – what reaction will this create in the minds of the exploited? It is bound to generate an inferiority complex regarding their language and social position (the language of slaves is derogatorily called “vernacular” in English), and they will continue to suffer from this mental disease. Thus the ruling exploiters create indirect pressure on others’ minds so that their language maintains its high prestige and an inferior feeling arises in the minds of the people: “Ah! That is the language of the rulers!” ” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 21 March 1982, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 8, Exploitation and Pseudo-Culture (Discourse 7), Mental Complexes and Psychic Exploitation
“Many undeveloped and developing countries are struggling to elevate their backward classes. For example, Bihar is at war over the question of backward and forward classes. If the above system is followed, it would certainly end all possibility of struggle among backward and forward classes in India and other countries of the world. At the same time, it would automatically provide people with the opportunity for social justice and economic self-sufficiency. Without giving any consideration to caste, creed, religion, race, language or sex, governments would be able to create a suitable environment for the all-round and quick development of all local people, providing them with food, clothing, housing, education and medical treatment. This would eliminate any feeling of inferiority from their minds, and all would have the opportunity of earning their livelihood on the basis of their capabilities.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, June 1979, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 15, Elevating Backward Classes
“The psychological defect of a floating population is this – the people fail to accept a new locality as their own home, so they cannot forget the land they left behind. This is the reason why the speed of their socio-economic integration and progress is slower than that of the local people.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 1981, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 19, East Wet Theory
“The problem of a floating population and immigrant labour will not occur in the cooperative system, as cooperative members will have to be local people. Floating labourers should have no right to be cooperative members – migratory birds have no place in cooperatives – as they can disturb a whole economy. Howrah district, for example, produces sufficient crops in a season to feed the local people for seventeen months, but due to immigrant labour the produce is consumed in six and a half months. The elimination of the floating population will also protect the social life of the cooperative from the possibility of adverse social influences.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 18 February 1988, Calcutta, Prout in a Nutshell Part 14, Cooperatives, Cooperative Management
“From the economic point of view the soil of this area is extremely fertile, but the local people are very poor. The people are industrious, and the soil is fertile, but the local people are extremely poor. What is the reason? Because there is tremendous exploitation in the area. Nowadays education is being developed, and the task of the educated boys and girls of this area is to free their land from exploitation as soon as possible. The land is not poor – only the people are poor. If the land is not poor, why should the people be poor? There should not be poverty among the people at all in this area. So it is your bounden duty to make this beautiful fertile land free from exploitation.” – Sarkar, Prabhat, 29 October 1979, Varanasi, A Few Problems Solved Part 4, The History of the Bhojpuri Language