Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Series: 20 Years of LPG

20 Years ago, the Indian economy faced an existential crisis. Inflation was high, exports were low, imports were unsustainable and forex reserves were nearly down to zero. It seemed that the socialist dream had turned sour.

In that hour of crisis, Finance Minister Manmohan Singh presented a radically new Union budget, one that would overturn the very structure of the Indian economy as envisaged by Nehru. The Policy of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (LPG) was a radical new approach to the Indian economy, a sharp turn right if you may.

Naturally, it faced severe resistance. But shrewd and even dirty politics on the part of Prime Minister PVN Rao saw the budget through: and that moment changed India forever. Today, LPG remains firmly a part of our economy and has fundamentally changed it. In addition, it has also changed our society, polity and foreign relations.

In 2011, our country is but a shadow of its past. How has LPG changed the way we live? How has it changed the very definition of "Indian"? These and more will be topics of discussion, in this new series 20 Years of LPG.

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