the Indian renaissance

Review From User :

A well researched book on state of economic affairs of Indian subcontinent in past 1000 years and subsequent shift in economy of the country post liberalization in 1991 along with the road map to becoming an economic superpower. The author tries to establish throughout the book that "To take advantage of the world, one needs the right attitude towards innovation, change and risk-taking" with numerous anecdotes from history of India and the world. It is this attitude that lead to the decline of the most prosperous land on Earth a millennium ago and indeed it is the same attitude that has put India steadfast on the path of becoming the largest economy in the world in years to come.

The book begins by painting the picture of Indian economy before the decline which started after 1000 AD. Being the biggest contributor to the world GDP in that era, the Indian society also gave rise to yoga, algebra, the concept of zero, chess, plastic surgery, metallurgy, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. highlighting the golden period of the stable and developed society. Subsequently, with the onset of closed mindedness and colonization, the economy fell from 29% contributor of world GDP to less 4% at the time of independence despite being the hub for raw materials and fertile land all through this time.

Little did the independence of the country help to boost the economy. With Nehru's Fabian Socialism and Mahalanobis' closed economic model based on a mechanical view of the world, the state worsened to just 3% of the world GDP. With a current account deficit climbing up to 10 billion USD, the country was finally forced to open its doors for the outside world in 1991.

With liberalization setting in, License Raj was abolished and the country witnessed huge increase in new enterprises. Y2K provided a perfect platform to the talents involved in tertiary sector and the sector grew at an unprecedented rate overtaking contributions by primary and secondary sector. Indian software and services industry become popular across the world and attracted huge foreign investment leading to steep increase in salary for the people engaged in the sector.

However, this lead of increasing disparity in the society since other sectors could not catch up on the earnings which necessitated systemic approach to tackle the scenario. The revolution in primary education which started around this time ensured that more people could come out of agriculture and join the industries. With intent towards boost in infrastructure and the country on the path to become the youngest in the world for a period of around 20 years till 2040, the stage is set for India to embark on a journey to rise as an economic superpower .

Towards the end, the book highlights the need of institutional reforms to harness maximum profit from this scenario. With smooth functioning of system of checks and balances at various levels, Indian market will attract more business which will further empower people financially feeding in the customer base for the growing market. As Sanyal puts it, "However, it is an opportunity that India still needs to actualize and its success will depend to a large extent on the choices it makes".

Media Size : 1.4 MB