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The conditions of the artisans recall those of their English counterparts at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In one respect these conditions were brought on by a similar force-the competition of cheaper manufactured goods. The Indian case differed from the English, however, in several important respects: most of the manufactured goods were produced not in India but in England, and these were given special protection by a foreign power that was not particularly sympathetic to Indian manufactures or to handicraft industries. In England (and in Europe, too) the example of superior Indian craftsmanship and materials, combined with restrictive legislation against Indian imports, stimulated English craftsmen to imitate them and then to develop new processes and materials in textile manufacture. Economic historians. now see this as an important impetus toward development of the factory system in England.15 This process deprived the Indian craftsman simultaneously of the European market and his home market. And the government of India not only pushed the products of Lancashire, but in many ways discouraged a transitional development in the direction of industrialization in India. For incipient Indian industrialists, capital, equipment, technical education, railroad rates, and government orders were difficult to obtain except on terms that favored their English and European competitors. Experiments in improving hand weavers' looms and skills were officially discouraged.

The result of this situation was that while the Indian craftsman was losing his market to manufactured products, very little in the way of alternative industrial employment was being developed. Both the urban and the village artisans were thrown back on the land; the proportion of the population dependent on agriculture actually increased from 61 percent in 1891 to 73 percent in 1921. After World War I the government's policy toward indigenous manufacturing changed, but too late to remove the economic dislocations produced by the decline of the handicrafts.16 There were, of course, other causes for this decline: the decline of courts and temples as special markets and patrons, the passing of the guilds and indigenous merchants' organizations, and the coming of cheap transportation which brought European goods inland. These factors, however, had a negative effect on Indian economic development, chiefly in conjunction with foreign rule.

15 A. P. Wadsworth and Julia de L. Mann, The Cotton Trade and Industrial Lancashire, 1600-1780 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1931).

16 Freda Utley, Lancashire and the Far East (London: Allen & Unwin, 1931).

Attempts to Revive Handicrafts

Now that India has her own government, there is a far more sympathetic attitude towards both handicrafts and indigenous manufactures. The policy of the government, as expressed in the first and second five-year plans, is to develop modern large-scale industry as well as cottage and small industry. This policy is based on the desire to build an "industrial tradition" continuous with the older preindustrial tradition. This means avoiding the evils of large-scale industrialism and urban concentration, but it also means the improvement of productivity and the conditions of life for all, through a decentralized economy with widely dispersed units. Under this general policy a serious effort is being made to rehabilitate the handicrafts and cottage industries by providing cooperative organizations for credit, purchasing, and marketing, and special facilities for technical training and research in design and market trends.17

It is too early to say whether these efforts will succeed in resuscitating the weakened traditions of the craftsman. Culturally there is a great deal to be said for such efforts to salvage a heritage of skill and art. Economically, too, a strong case can be made for using existing resources of capital and labor to provide employment and consumers' goods in the difficult period of transition to larger-scale industrial organization.18 It will not be surprising if some groups of artisans resist the governmental efforts to improve their lot during this period. Historically they have good reason to distrust government policy, and there has hardly been time for them to discover that the present government is different and genuinely interested in their welfare. Perhaps, too, like the English artisans of the nineteenth century, the Indian artisans fear

17 Ford Foundation, International Planning Team, Report on Small Industries in India (New Delhi: Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 1955); Government of India Planning Commission, Second Five-Year Plan Committee, Village and Small-Scale Industries (New Delhi, 1955); Institute of Traditional Cultures, Madras, "Report on the Madras Seminar on the Role of Arts and Crafts," University of Madras Bulletin, 1957, especially pp. 211-216; Traditional Cultures, Proceedings of the Seminar Organized by the University of Madras under the Auspices of UNESCO, University of Madras, 1956, especially pp. 80-90.

18 An economic as well as sentimental case for small-scale industry is now recognized by economists. See Peter T. Bauer and Basil S. Yamey, The Economics of Underdeveloped Countries (Cambridge Economic Handbooks; Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1957), pp. 252-254; H. G. Aubrey, “Small Industry in Economic Development," Social Research, 18:269-312 (September 1951).

that proposed changes will destroy the values of their surviving handicraft traditions. The fear of being displaced by technical improvements is widespread among these groups, and also has a sound historical basis. The artisans no doubt have other “rational” reasons for resistance.19

Factors Favoring Modern Industrial Development

Such cases of resistance should be analyzed in terms of the historical, "rational," and specific traditional factors that are involved. We have tried to sketch the outlines of an analysis that may be applicable to the weavers of Orissa, although we are not so much interested in explaining that particular case as in a method of approaching the problem. This method begins with analysis of the factors that can be shown to be operating in a specific situation, rather than of factors alleged to be absent in the given situation but required to be present if a hypothetical situation of a different kind is to be attained. An empirical examination of the situation actually reveals that many of the values alleged to be absent are in fact there, and that the problem of gaining acceptance for technical improvements is not one of changing the craftsman's character and values, but of assuring him continued opportunities for the expression of that character and those values during changes in the social and economic organization of the nation. In the present situation one major value that is changing in India is the attitude toward manual labor. Among the upper castes and the educated there has been a tendency to despise such labor even if highly skilled. This attitude has two sources: the general association of the handicraft occupations with low castes, and the policy under British rule of encouraging literary and legal education for administrative careers and of discouraging industrial and scientific education. Even where engineering training was provided, its chief purpose was to produce civil engineers for the Public Works Department, rather than mechanical engineers. The present Indian government is keenly aware of this problem and is supporting special institutes for scientific and technical training. Children in elementary school are being taught

19 This fear is reported by the Ford Foundation International Planning Team. Anthropological observers also have found many “rational" reasons for the Indian villagers' reactions to technical improvements. See, for example, S. C. Dube, "Cultural Factors in Rural Community Development,” Journal of Asian Studies, 16:19–30 (November 1956); David G. Mandelbaum, “Planning and Social Change in India," Human Organization, 12(3):4–12 (Fall 1953); and McKim Marriott, "Technological Change in Overdeveloped Rural Areas," Economic Development and Cultural Change, 1:261–272 (December 1952).

about the dignity of labor. Patriotic movements, such as Swadeshi, Khadi, the revival of national arts and crafts, and community development and extension, have increased the upper castes' and the educated classes' respect for "body work" and have brought some of them directly into it.

The economic significance of the negative attitude toward manual labor is easily exaggerated. The attitude has never extended to the products of such labor and therefore has not affected commerce in handicrafts. Moreover, the people who actually perform this labor, the artisans, do not share this attitude, although it naturally influences their status aspirations. They are proud of their craft tradition and the manual skills of weaving, casting, modeling, drawing, carving and the like, which their families have cultivated for generations. The ancient craft manuals (silpa sastras) are still lovingly preserved on palm leaf manuscripts in these families. If craftsmen do not encourage their children to continue the traditional trades, it is not because they despise manual labor, but because they do not see very good prospects for making a living in them. If they leave their traditional occupations, it is because they are destitute and want to get into occupations that will give them better incomes, higher status, and work consonant with their skills. In one family of bronze-image makers in Madras, only one son, aged 34, is practicing the father's occupation in the family workshop. Another, aged 22, is assisting him but will not continue if something better turns up. A third, aged 28, has moved to North India, where he has found work at a temple. The oldest, aged 36, is a metal caster in the Madras School of Arts and is assisted by the youngest, aged 18. A sixth, aged 25, works as an illustrator for a local magazine.

Given public recognition, higher status, and opportunities for modern education, India's craftsmen are willing and able to furnish the technical skills needed in an emerging industrial economy. McCrory's observations on hereditary ironworkers, blacksmiths, and carpenters, who have set up their own small industries, give additional support for an optimistic conclusion:

The small craftsman-entrepreneur is not illiterate, backward, or downtrodden. He does not need to be awakened. He has the enterprise, the energy, the industrial outlook, and the skill now to make things efficiently and well. He would like more education, more technical know-how, and a better acquaintance with business and marketing practices, of course. But right now, he cannot even use what he has. For the present, he wants not to be fostered but to be listened to. And what he says is that in the beginning it would require

nothing more or less-than a judicious application of capital to enable him to start using the assets he already has effectively. At the very least, he deserves to be listened to.20

This entrepreneurial ambition of traditional craftsmen is particularly significant in view of the fact that, except for the Parsis, industrial entrepreneurs in India have come mainly from the traditional trading and money-lending castes-Gujaratis, Marwaris, Chettiars, etc.21

There are those who believe that the major barrier to India's economic growth is not the resistance of this or that group of craftsmen but the entire institutional framework. This argument is a familiar one. We have all heard about the sick sacred cows, the holy beggars, the irresponsible and lazy members of a joint family, the lack of mobility in the caste system, and the otherworldliness of Hinduism. The cogency of this argument rests, it seems, on a systematic selection of those features of India's institutional framework that appear to be in conflict with the conditions of an idealized free enterprise system, and on systematic neglect of those features of the same institutions that have played a positive economic role in the past and can support economic development today. Since this paper is concerned with the crafts, we cannot deal here with all sides of the institutional framework. Elsewhere the writer has suggested how India's "spirituality” and asceticism have inspired modern social and economic reform in the movements of Gandhi, Vinobha Bhave, and others.22

Religion and economics have always been mutually supportive in India and the partnership is not likely to be dissolved in the near future. The belief that modern technology is incompatible with traditional religious institutions and practices and will be resisted by such institutions cannot find much support in India. On the contrary, in this religious sphere the acceptance of technical improvements seems

20 James T. McCrory, Small Industry in a North Indian Town (New Delhi: Government of India Press, 1956), pp. 41-42. See also James J. Berna, "Patterns of Entrepreneurship in South India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, 7:343– 362 (April 1959).

21 D. R. Gadgil, Origins of the Modern Indian Business Class: An Interim Report (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1959).

22 Milton Singer, "Cultural Values in India's Economic Development," The Annals, 305:81-91 (May 1956); John Goheen, M. N. Srinivas, D. G. Karve, and Milton Singer, "India's Cultural Values and Economic Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, 7:1-12 (October 1958). See also Hajime Nakamura, The Vitality of Religion in Asia (Rutland: Charles E. Tuttle Company, for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, 1956).

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