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India and World War IIWar, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939–45$
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Kaushik Roy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463534.001.0001

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Military Industrialization in India

Military Industrialization in India


(p.63) 2 Military Industrialization in India
India and World War II

Kaushik Roy

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the rising demand for industrial products in wartime and failure of the British capitalists to meet it forced a reluctant Raj to set up an industrial infrastructure in India. The ordnance factories upgraded their technology and expanded the volume of output. India’s agro-based products as well as industrial materials supported war economy of the Allied powers. The ‘total war’ also gave scope to the Indian industrialists to expand their scope of activities. In general, high demand generated by global warfare resulted in the expansion of low-technology war-related industries and the subsidiary industries. Subcontracting by the government for production of low-technology goods gave a spurt to the private Indian entrepreneurs who were allowed the space because British capitalists under the pressure of war were unable to fill the expanding vacuum. This, in turn, fostered local manufacturing units, and all these resulted in expansion of the employment opportunities.

Keywords:   ordnance factories, economy of the Allied powers, total war, British capitalists, local manufacturing units, industrial infrastructure in India

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