Observers Freidel, Smithies Say India's Attitudes Leaning to U.S.
Praise Peace Corps Work in India
Two faculty members who returned recently from India said yesterday that the Indian people are becoming remarkably oriented toward the United States.
Arthur Smithies, Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy, noted that this shift has occurred largely because the invading Chinese have given India a "knowledge of the difficulties of neutralism," that has induced a permanent change in attitude.
Frank B. Freidel, professor of History, praised the work of Peace Corpsmen and other Americans in India, who are making a "splendid impression" on the Indian people. The Peace Corps is achieving "spectacular results" in helping farmers increase production, according to Smithies, but he added that it is an "enormous pity that the operation is so tiny. If it were spread throughout the country many Indian agricultural problems would be on the way to solution."
Smithies traveled in India for six weeks this winter, lecturing under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. Freidel spent last month there as a State Department specialist lecturing in American history.
At Allahabad, Calcutta, and Bombay, Freidel participated in seminars sponsored by the USIA for people interested in teaching American studies in Indian universities. His talks traced the political and economic history of the United States from 1933 to the present.
Smithies praised this effort of the USIA to direct its attention toward the universities, "where the future leaders of India presumably can be found."
Lecturing on the general topic of economic development, Smithies tried to avoid "giving Indians too much advice on how to run their own show." His own feeling is that India now places too much emphasis on heavy industry, and not enough on agriculture and light industry.
"The population will be predominantly agricultural for a long time," he commented yesterday, "and if poverty is to decrease, the agricultural problem must be tackled directly."
Smithies said that he does not expect a drastic change in India's internal economy as a result of the Chinese invasion. He observed that since the economy is already under great strain, it is unlikely that a heavy defense program will be added to the load in the new budget.
Both men met with U.S. Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics on leave, while in India. Freidel participated in ceremonies honoring Franklin D. Roosevelt in New Delhi on Jan. 29, when the ambassador's new residence was designated "the Roosevelt House" on the occasion of FDR's birthday.