"Casteist and religious forces are going to be the bane of this country.... There is great danger of the country disintegrating... In fact, I feel we have already lost the soul of India...." Continuing our series of interviews with the doyens of Indian industry on the eve of elections, Nani Palkhivala, eminent jurist and chairman of ACC, speaks on the divisive forces at work within the country and what he calls the 'lopsided' liberalisation process that is drifting away from the strong cultural heritage of India. Excerpts from an interview with Shekhar Ghosh:
Which areas have gained the maximum momentum in the liberalisation process?
The maximum impact of liberalisation has been in the areas of investment. India has now become a part of the global economy. For the past 40 years, this country has been suffocated and strangulated by rules, restrictions, licensing and bureaucratese. Today, for the first time, it can atleast breathe freely.
Having said that, however, I must add that the fruits of liberalisation have not percolated down to...