India has been around for a long time. Like more than 5,000 years – back to the earliest establishments of cities and what people call “civilization.”
Like China, it was an economic powerhouse way back when, but fell behind the West and East Asia. Even after it threw off colonialism, India grew at incredibly slow rates until 1991 when they liberalized the economy and passed tons of economic reforms.
Since 1991, India has grown and changed by leaps and bounds. The only country that has grown faster is China. India is on a pretty firm course to become a major world power (if it arguably isn’t already). It’s a center for world-class corporations, software and culture.
And yet – it is famously full of contradictions. It’s not following the well-trodden path of economic development paved first by Britain, then the US, then Japan and then most recently Korea and China. India is developing in a uniquely lop-sided path and is busting all the economic and political truisms declared in recent human history.
That is the topic of In Spite of The Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce (former Bureau Chief for the Financial Times). [Read more…]