Author: Gurcharan Das
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670882658
A riveting story of a nation's rise from poverty to prosperity and the clash of ideas that occurred along the way.
Today's India is a vibrant free-market democracy, and it has begun to flex its muscles in the global information economy. The old centralized bureaucratic state, which stifled industrial growth, is on the decline; the lower castes have risen confidently through the ballot box; and the middle class has tripled in the last two decades. This economic and social transformation is one of the major themes of this book.
Gurcharan Das recounts the hope and despair of the last fifty years. The License Raj created a work environment in which a cousin of the author, on his first day at work in the railways, could precipitate a strike just because he was honest. And on one occasion, the author, even though a seasoned executive, was driven to sit by the polluted Yamuna and weep after a fruitless meeting with a bureaucrat.
The transformation began in the golden summer of 1991, when a reticent reformer, Prime Minster P V Narasimha Rao, finally changed the nation's course through sweeping economic reforms. A restrictive regime, in which the state dictated everything, from a woman's choice of lipstick to the programs on television, gave way to the optimism of a rising middle class eager to compete with the rest of the world. It was a quiet revolution, one that has not been chronicled before.
Gurcharan Das examined the highs and lows of independent India through the prism of history and his own experiences and those of numerous others he has met following the reforms, from young people to sleep UP villages to the chiefs of software companies in Bangalore. Defining and exploring the new mindset of the nation, India Unbound is the perfect introduction to contemporary India.