Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

From 'grow more food' to 'miss a meal': hunger, development and the limits of post-colonial nationalism in India, 1947-1957

Sherman, Taylor C. (2013) From 'grow more food' to 'miss a meal': hunger, development and the limits of post-colonial nationalism in India, 1947-1957. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 36 (4). pp. 571-588. ISSN 0085-6401

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (667kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1080/00856401.2013.833071


Charting the rise and fall of the Grow More Food programme in India, this article explores a set of tensions that characterised development policies in the first decade after Independence in India. The post-colonial Indian state staked its legitimacy on securing economic independence for India, and, in particular, on being able to feed its citizens without resorting to importing food. The transition to food independence, however, was fraught and contested. In particular, this piece argues, the plans to get the nation to ‘Grow More Food’ as part of this drive towards national self-sufficiency were marked by a conflict between the dream of providing the benefits of development to all Indians and the reality that independent India's resources were extremely limited. In addition, this transition also involved a transformation in the nature of nationalism. The ruling Indian National Congress struggled to formulate a post-colonial nationalism because it was torn between using the state for development and urging the people to shape their own destiny outside of the state. It was also deeply ambivalent about rural citizens, who were viewed both as a burden and as a potentially limitless public resource. This article suggests that one of the defining features of post-colonial development was the tension between scientific and democratic development.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 South Asian Studies Association of Australia
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 09:05
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2024 01:33
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics