15 April, 2021

He Has Been Chosen

Since 1991, India too is seeing what western democracies are facing: a standoff between the state and the market.

He Has Been Chosen

As a student of Indian politics, it is clear to me that the corporate-politics-policy linkage was always there, dating from the days of freedom struggle when a section of the Indian business community helped the Congress leadership sustain its fight against the colonial order. After Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru and others were wise enough to give the industry a sense of partnership in nation-building. For example, Nehru used to regularly address the annual meeting of the FICCI.

The scene changed after 1991, when economic reforms and globalisation acquired an intellectual hegemony. Now, India too is witnessing the same struggle that most Western democracies, including the US, face: the stand-off between the state and the market (especially its manipulative hot money operators). Since 2009, corporate India has waged a kind of hidden war on the Indian state, a messy affair which became messier because of the intra-corporate rivalry and greed. The Niira Radia tapes were the first salvo in the war among the corporate profiteers. The Anna Hazare movement was a diversionary...

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