24 September, 2020

On A Collapsible Building

A book on the chronic failures of our economy is painted in the broadest strokes, yet a compelling read

On A Collapsible Building

Mihir S. Sharma’s Restart is the longest obituary you will ever read on India—362 pages for telling us why we are a failed country and why there is no hope in hell. Not because we have a socialist mindset that engulfs all we do, but also because of the pernicious influence of Raj Kapoor and the film Guru, which highlights how susceptible we are at celebrating success. And the cynicism doesn’t ever stop in this well-written tome. Though Sha­rma ends his thank yous to the reader “for being able to finish reading a book on the Indian econ­omy”, we must also be praised for our courage to go through a history lesson tainted with blinkered airplane rides over American and German factory sheds, not to mention the ubiquitous tea shop in Padra­una, where Sharma learns more about the country that he has returned to ‘ignobly’ from academia.

There is always a danger when opinion page editors begin to write books and that too on a subject broadly brush-stroked as the Indian economy. No wonder, Sharma draws both...



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