Two recent pieces – one by Sanjaya Baru and another by Anil Padmanabhan – complement each other and provide some information that is not found in the other. Both the pieces try to place the contributions of Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister of India, to India’s economic liberalisation in proper perspective. Sanjaya Baru is slightly more effusive. Anil Padmanabhan tries to trace India’s hesitant opening up to Ms. Indira Gandhi, after her return to power in 1980. But, she stopped her efforts after she repaid the IMF loan prematurely. He is, of course, right to credit the short-lived government of Chandrasekhar (4 months?) in 1990-91 with doing all the spadework for economic reforms. He mentions that Rao was a reluctant liberaliser. I guess it will be hard to find a reformer/liberaliser by conviction in India. Only the late Shri. C. Rajagopalachari (‘Rajaji’) comes to mind.
Both pieces are worth reading.