There is one common factor that defines that journey-disruptions. With unfailing regularity, almost every decade of India’s history since Independence has been marked by major disruptions.
Indeed, India became independent through an act of disruption-the Partition that killed millions in communal violence and turned many more into refugees in what was once their own land. The turn towards a model of state-led economic development delivered as big a shock to the economy as did the food crisis or the spiking of crude oil price or the nationalization of half a dozen industries.
If the Emergency in 1975 shook the foundations of India’s democracy, the unprecedented balance of payments crisis of 1990 turned India towards a path of economic reforms, almost irrevocably. Just as the reservation of jobs for backward castes changed the idiom of India’s politics, the movement for building a Ram temple drove India closer to becoming a majoritarian state. No less disruptive have been the telecom revolution, the banking crisis, demonetization and the launch of the goods and services tax.
How did these disruptions impact India? How did they influence the rise of Goliath? This is the story of twelve disruptions that changed India and significantly influenced its march to become the world’s sixth largest economy. This also provides a peek into the kind of disruptions the country could face in the coming years.
In his four-decade-long career as a journalist, A.K. Bhattacharya has held leadership positions in several publications including Financial Express, the Economic Times, the Pioneer and Business Standard. At present, he is the editorial director at Business Standard. His fortnightly columns-New Delhi Diary and Raisina Hill-take a close look at the implications of policymaking and government affairs. A winner of Shriram Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism, 2017, he is also the general secretary of the Editors Guild of India. This is his first book.