THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Kanakalatha Mukund and B. Syama Sundari. Traditional Industry in the New Market Economy: The Cotton Handlooms of Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2001. 169 Pages. Hardback. Rs 395.00.
The authors set out to examine the competitiveness of the handloom weaving industry in modern India from the market point of view. The three themes, which the authors themselves point out in the introduction, deal with cotton handlooms in the general context of traditional industry, present a detailed description of the situation in Andhra Pradesh and evaluate the effectiveness of government policy. An the heart of the argument is the need for policy-makers to make their decisions on the basis of “empirical data rather than received wisdom” (p. 19). The fact is that in spite of being regarded as a “…residual subsistence activity” (p. 16) handloom weaving has maintained its share of output through the decades, competition from power-looms notwithstanding.