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Penguin Set To Release Puja Mehra’s ‘The Lost Decade: 2008-18’


Before the global financial meltdown of 2008, India’s economy was thriving and its  GDP growth was cruising at an impressive 8.8 per cent. The economic boom impacted  a large section of Indians, even if unequally. With sustained high growth over an extended  period, India could have achieved what economists call a ‘take-off’ (rapid and
self-sustained GDP growth).

The global financial meltdown disrupted this  momentum in 2008.  In the decade that followed, each time the country’s economy came close to returning  to that growth trajectory, political events knocked it off course.

In 2019, India’s GDP is growing at the rate of 7 per cent, making it the fastest-growing  major economy in the world, but little on the ground suggests that Indians are actually  better off. Economic discontent and insecurity are on the rise, farmers are restive and  land-owning classes are demanding quotas in government jobs. The middle  class is palpably disaffected, the informal economy is struggling and big businesses  are no longer expanding aggressively.

India is not the star it was in 2008 and in effect, the ‘India growth story’ has devolved  into ‘growth without a story’. The Lost Decade tells the story of the slide  and examines the political context in which the Indian economy failed to recover  lost momentum.

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