From 1962 war to Covid: A brief history of shocks in India

From 1962 war to Covid: A brief history of shocks in India

Covid-19 has been a great shock to the world and India. A shock would not be a shock if it could be predicted. Hence, the question to ask is how does a country respond to shocks? India as a country has faced many shocks and here’s my list.

The first shock was the Chinese aggression of 1962 when over 1,000 soldiers died. The response was to nominate a new defence minister, increase the budgetary allocation for defence and alter India’s understanding of the world and foreign policy in a fundamental way.

The second shock that India faced was the severe drought in 1965-1966, which was internationally humiliating. The response to it was the launching of the Green Revolution. On the one hand, the government started to buy surplus foodgrains from the farmers and on the other hand, the grain was distributed all over the country. Starvation deaths were avoided and the state took on the responsibility of citizens’ bodies. The first point to be noted is that there was a team headed by Indira Gandhi (prime minister), C Subramaniam (agriculture minister) and M S Swaminathan (scientist), which made the Green Revolution possible. Second, science and technology were relied on. And third, organisational innovations (like the Food Corporation of India) were made. Further, given the magnitude of the crisis, it was never mentioned that agriculture is a state subject!

News Source: The Indian Express

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