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India Unbound

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India today is a vibrant free-market democracy, a nation well on its way to overcoming decades of widespread poverty. The nation’s rise is one of the great international stories of the late twentieth century, and in India Unbound the acclaimed columnist Gurcharan Das offers a sweeping economic history of India from independence to the new millennium.

Das shows how India’s policies after 1947 condemned the nation to a hobbled economy until 1991, when the government instituted sweeping reforms that paved the way for extraordinary growth. Das traces these developments and tells the stories of the major players from Nehru through today. As the former CEO of Proctor & Gamble India, Das offers a unique insider’s perspective and he deftly interweaves memoir with history, creating a book that is at once vigorously analytical and vividly written. Impassioned, erudite, and eminently readable, India Unbound is a must for anyone interested in the global economy and its future.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 01, 2001 – Das, an Indian venture capitalist and columnist for the Times of India (and former CEO of Procter & Gamble India), uses his own experiences as a businessman as the context in which to comment on India's postcolonial economic policies. He begins with Nehru's mixed economy (which he argues achieved democracy but ignored entrepreneurship and competition, resulting in an absence of industrial development) and continues through to the economic reforms of 1991 under Prime Minister Narasimha Rao (whom he labels a "reluctant liberalizer"), demonstrating how India has abandoned state-directed industrialization and finally become a free-market democracy with a burgeoning middle class. He also points out how India's late (and incomplete) entry into the international economy continues to hamper its growth, as compared to other late entries, such as that of China, which had a lower per capita income than India did in the mid-'60s and today boasts one twice as large as India's. Nevertheless, Das remains optimistic that "the new India is increasingly one of competition and decentralization," particularly because of the Internet and the boom in software entrepreneurship. In explaining India's economic policies, he gives much credence to theories about high-caste Brahmins being averse to making money and the government's fears that capitalism would crush the poor; but Das only mentions in passing Russia's ideological sway at the time of India's independence and does not discuss the Cold War or the context for India's belief that import substitution was necessary to make India less dependent on the outside world for its survival. Business readers with an interest in Third World development will learn much from Das.
India Unbound
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Asia
  • Published: Feb 13, 2001
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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