Gorbachev's Policies

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Gorbachev's Policies of Glasnost and Perestroika After Cherenko's death in March 1985, Mikhail S. Gorbachev was chosen General Secretary of the Communist Party. Immediately after assuming power Gorbachev embarked upon the introduction of radical reforms in the political and economic fields. Consequently in 1985 he held two rounds of talks with the US President in which the issue of arms reduction was discussed. Gorbachev was aware that the entire political, economic and social set-up of the country needed reformation. The Soviet economy was in a shattered state because her defense budget and military adventures in Angola, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Middle East and Afghanistan were a great burden on the exchequer and required 20 to 30 percent of GDP. The extremely centralized set-up dominated by the authoritarian communist party had shaken the social and political structure of the state. Similarly the socialist ideology had suffered much at the hands of the state system, which offered no reforms since many years.

Gorbachev decided to solve these problems through his policies of Glasnost (Openness) and Perestroika (Restructuring). Through his policies of Glasnost and Perestroika Gorbachev wanted to: (i) Win international goodwill for Russia (ii) Revive socialist ideology (iii) Restrain power of CPU (iv) Introduce Presidential-cum-Parliamentary System (v) Increase production (vi) Give autonomy to private companies (vii) Re-organize external debts (viii) Give people multiple choice of candidates (ix) Allow constructive criticism on party and the government (x) Introduce judicial reforms in the country (xi) Improve the lot of minorities.

The people of Soviet Union widely acclaimed Gorbachev's policies of Glasnost and Perestroika because these aimed at improving their social, political and economic conditions. These policies were also approved by the 27th party congress held in February 1986, Central Committee of CPSU on June 27, 1987 and conference of Soviet Communist Party held on June 28,