Maulans Azad

Memories of the 1950s

Reginald Masssey


Reginald Massey

Reginald was born in Lahore before Partition. He writes books on various subjects pertaining to South Asia. A former London journalist, he now lives in Mid Wales with his actor wife Jamila. His latest book is Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi. A member of the Society of Authors, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In the 1950s, India suffered as Nehru initiated his Socialist Five Year Plans on the Soviet model.

Food production declined as did industrial production. Nehru wanted to make India a modern secular state with nuclear power stations, vast dams, steel mills and fertilizer factories. He memorably declared: “These dams, steel mills and fertilizer factories are our new temples.”

The common man, however, bore the burden of what came to be known as the Licence Raj. I remember that nothing could be imported. Refrigerators were rare as were radio sets. Pakistan had TV stations and television sets. They had Cadillacs and Fords. India had no TV, and the rich had to make do with the Hindustan Ambassador, a Birla version of the outdated Morris Oxford. However, thanks to Nehru, India eventually became a major industrial power, able to stand up on its own two feet.

Subscribe to RSS - Maulans Azad