The process of liberalisation in India started in the early 1990s with India moving away from welfare economics to pursue the free market model, embracing the process of opening up its markets to outside forces. Under the guidance of the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund a structural adjustment programme was devised and the Indian Government pursued the policy of liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation to improve the growth of the Indian economy. Various measures were introduced to encourage industrial growth in an open preference for urban, technological ‘development’ against a more inclusive rural, agricultural growth.
This New Economic Policy has captured the imagination and practice of all major political parties, both regional and national, and a thriving middle class to the detriment of nearly 80 percent of the toiling masses – the real producers and the backbone of the nation.
It was against this backdrop that NAPM was set up, to bring together some of the voices who were struggling against this model of development and to show both the Indian government and the Indian people that there are in fact many alternatives of more inclusive development models.
Liberalisation is the broad area within which many important struggles have been fought. These include those against the WTO, World Bank, Enron, SEZs, big dams, rural and urban evictions and displacements, atrocities against women, adivasis, and Dalits and communalism.
Over a decade later the dictum of ‘There is No Alternative’ continues to dominate but we have struggled at various fronts to keep reaffirming our vision and plan for a just, appropriate and sustainable development and proclaim that ‘Another World is Possible!’ We continue to strive towards evolving spaces, processes and initiatives where communities can take the initiative and have control over natural resources through local to national struggles as an endeavour outside of narrow electoral politics.
To read press releases on liberalisation campaign please click here.