24 January, 2021


It's a state of being most Indians are familiar with. But plastic money has catapulted credit economy to perilous heights.


 FOR tens of millions of Indians, debt is no longer a four-letter word. Rather, for these feverishly consumerist wannabes, it's a many-splendoured thing. While public debt—what the Indian Government owes the nation and the world—teeters at a stupefying 75 per cent of our Gross National Product, a massive number of Indians, cutting across all income and demographic classes, may be entering their own private debt traps.

 Try talking to 26-year-old Ganesh Lakshmanan, Bombay-based entrepreneur and proud possessor of four credit cards and one charge card, about Bimal Roy's classic Do Bigha Zameen, which, by chronicling the life and debt of a marginal farmer, remains the definitive distillation of traditional Indian attitudes towards being in the red. Try mentioning Mother India—or, for that matter, countless other films where the village moneylender is the epitome of all things evil and despicable—to thirty something Akash Dyes, Delhi-based executive in a courier company, who has managed an outstanding of over Rs 18,000 on his...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Bharat Ahluwalia

Latest Magazine

February 01, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section