Author: Aritra Majumdar
Author Affiliation: Department of History, Sivanath Sastri College Kolkata, West Bengal
Abstract: The Constituent Assembly was one of the first forums that debated at length the entire political, social and economic structure of what would become the Republic of India. Within this gamut of topics, economic issues received slightly lower consideration and planning, lower still. Nevertheless, the Debates provide a fascinating glimpse into the economic ideas associated with a wide range of ideological positions, ranging from the socialists and their long-held belief in nationalization and planning, to the Gandhians and some conservative elements as well. Focusing on the critical areas of agriculture, industry and the overarching structure of the planned economy, I would argue that these opinions provided a crucial link between the idealistic formulations which preceded independence and the concrete Committee and parliamentary debates which forged the Planning Commission in the early 1950s, at a time when the ideals were on the cusp of becoming reality but before the nation had begun to grapple with the nitty-gritty of planning and economic development themselves.
Keywords: Constitution, Constituent Assembly, Planning Commission,