Zinkin writing in the "Manchester Guardian"
under the caption "No money on Trees" has
some bitter truths to say.
"When the finance minister,
Mr. Krishnamachari set out in search of a world where
money grows on trees to support the second five-year
plan, Indians were over-confident that he would come
back with a handsome bonanza. On his return today he
said that he went without expectation and came back
Forgetting the satire running through these lines, one
cannot possibly deny the truth behind the statement.
T.T.K, has returned empty handed, of course he ought
to be rich with experience, would have of course gained
valuable friendship, none would refuse to concede it—but
yet the fact remains, that he got not what he sought
There is a literary flavour in his statement, "went
without expectation and came back without disappointment,"
but the flavour in the style is no compensation for
the failure of the mission.
Possibly, he was aware, unlike his Master, of certain
shortcomings, in his method or manner, mental equipment
or ability in presenting a good case without creating
a bad taste—and so, he might have gone without much
expectation—but the country was certainly expecting
something tangible from out of his mission—and disappointment
is not the word, the country is dismayed at the dismal
"I succeded to a great extent in creating a healthy
climate there—I placed all the facts before them—and
they were all made to appreciate our viewpoint"—
says T.T.K, and perhaps that would be his theme before
the Parliament when he arises to narrate his tale about
The fear entertained in certain quarters, that this
failure would so infuriate Pandit Nehru, that he would
bid good-bye to T.T.K, has been proved to be false.
The Master perhaps feels, that it is an asset to possess
a finance minister, with a record of dutiful service,
though with dismal failure. We are not endowed with
the art of probing into the thoughts of the political
pontiffs. We, along with the millions, feel, that if
only Pandit Nehru cared to choose some one more fitted
for such a delicate task, the result would not have
been so dark.
We have seen the sorry spectacle, of a finance minister
picturing the poverty of this land, its anxiety to do
away with it, and its inability to do it without aid
from abroad—and after such a narration get in return
only sly smiles and theatrical sights.
The fact is, countries with the 'billions,' are not
enamoured of hearing about 'plans' alone—but about policies.
And in that, we are not definite.
In fact, whether we get 'aids' or no, those at the top,
should, before launching up their 'rockets' test them
in the laboratory of thought. Instances are not wanting
to prove that there is an inherent weakness and defect
in our planning itself. And if we term it as 'Planless
Planning' we are not playing on words, nor are we attempting
to wound the feelings of those Top-men who are imbued
with the best of motives.
They rush on, we are afraid, planning without any thought
about the resources that could be marshalled. And after
taking long strides, they find themselves blocked, for
want of finance; then they make frantic efforts to get
aid, grant, loan, money, machinery, anything to bridge
the gulf that has arisen.
"Gone are the days when Mr. Nehru asserted that
India would be self-sufficient by the end of 1952. Now
he is talking like Sir Winston of tears and sweat and
promising at the end of it all a minimum of progress
not much more than sufficient to keep conditions from
becoming worse for each new stomach."
—Writes Taya Zinkin.
So, the optimism expressed and the prediction made by
Pandit Nehru have failed him and the country—and we
are where we were—"too many stomachs and not enough
Why this sorry state of affairs? That, we fear is exactly
because, the planning is itself defective.
What is being done here under the name of planning is
actually 'project creating' and scheme drafting.
Real planning means the building up of a comprehensive
picture of the country's needs balanced against its
Formulation of a clear-cut policy, and a decision on
objectives, are the criterion of sound planning, and
how confused the government of the day is, can best
be seen, by the statements issued by the Top-men, and
how contradictory they are.
While T.T.K, facing an audience composed of tight-lipped
financiers, talks about the policy of his government
about Nationalisation, another Top leader harangues
before an audience here, that the major industries are
to be nationalised soon. Perhaps, it may be, that while
T.T.K's mission is to get dollars, the top leader who
waxed eloquent about his government's determination
to push though nationalisation, thought that his duty
was to cajole the masses and get their votes. But those
with the billion smell, either a paradox, or an insincerity,
and hence are unwilling to back up such an elusive customer.
T.T.K.'s failure has got the immediate lesson, 'No money
on Trees' but the other and more important lesson to
be learnt is this, 'No Honey in Plans'.
This is the time, not for false prestige, but for some
It is now freely stated that the size of the plan is
to be cut—Pandit Nehru after heroically maintaining
the Citadel, has now come out, —and is retreating—but
he should not remain too long in a valley of indecision,
but call a top level conference of experts, economists,
and leaders of political parties, and probe into the
problem of planning in the present context.
If he tells his countrymen that they should shed their
blood and sweat, they are entitled to know, for what?