The New Economic Policy – 1921 of Lenin had influenced the policies adopted by India soon after independence. Evaluate.

Historically, Russia has been a major source of ideological inspiration for Indians since centuries, starting with the Bolshevik Revolution. There are various instances of Russian events and policies having had implications or effects on India, and the New Economic Policy (NEP) of 1921 is just one of those.

NEP was proposed by Lenin to reverse the effects of the failing economy. Instead of being a communist economy in its entirety, the NEP sought to infuse some aspects of capitalism into Russian society with what Lenin termed ‘state capitalism’. State capitalism referred to adoption of a capitalism oriented economic policy that introduced a mixed economy. The state allowed private entities/individuals to engage in small-scale businesses while it controlled major sectors/areas such as banks, foreign trade, defense and some infrastructure-based sectors. One of the unique characteristics of the Indian economy post-independence was the fact that it was a mixed economy. India adopted an economic policy that combined aspects of capitalism and socialism, just like Russia’s NEP adopted a policy combining communism and capitalism. The NEP also sought to establish linkages between the rural economy and the urban economy. In India, the emphasis was on establishing linkages between the relatively developed urban areas and the painfully backward rural areas. In spirit and in certain specificities too, the reflections of the NEP can be seen in India’s post-independence economic policies.

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