Vantage point

Thursday, October 28, 2004

India Unbound

Gurcharan Das' India Unbound is a wonderful book about how India became poor, and can now become rich again.

The crux of the book is the same as the "Business Environment" course taught in IIML. What makes it more fun is the personal touch that Das has added, weaving the story of his own life along with the story of Indian socialism. He has also utilised his contacts to get the first person account from many people about certain key events. For example, his description of events involving Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh and P Chidambaram during the 1991 liberalisation are fun to read.

Reading the description of the pre-1991 days is even scarier than reading about the days of colonisation. How a state could enforce such mind-bogglingly stupid policies is baffling. And yet, it also reminds us that we still have a long way to go. We need to get rid of the Fabian baggage.

This is the sort of book which will clear the misconceptions of many Indians about the causes for our poverty.

Do pick it up.