14 April, 2021

Taste The Thunder (Of Globalisation)

In Oklahoma, a fringe terrorist inaugurates a new hell. In Bangalore, a KFC outlet is under siege. How are the two linked? Because economics and politics co-authored the 1990s.

Taste The Thunder (Of Globalisation)

…and 1995 was an unexceptional year in India. Or so it seemed to a journalist tasked with the ritual of the year’s annual roundup of news. The list of events was long and diverse, but none appeared too spectacular. “A year without a unifying weave,” he finally concluded, “it wasn’t the best of years, it wasn’t the worst of years. Not the kind of year of which a single or perhaps even two dramatic photographs become the leitmotif, but in which several tell several different stories.” In this first rough draft of history, 1995 was filed away as a year without a gripping plot, a jumble of scattered dots that failed to draw forth a clear thema.

A quarter century later, that messy collage of dots looks different. They emerge as faint but unmistakable footprints in the sand…of an advancing neoliberal project that was reshaping life. In India, that primarily meant ‘opening up’ the economy. The ruling echelons spawned an enabling consensus—it infected all governments to come—but politics...

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