Shankar Aiyar

Journalist–analyst Shankkar Aiyar scooped the news of India pledging its gold reserves with the Bank of England in 1991 during its worst economic crisis since Independence. His exposé of the hush-hush operation brought home to Indians and the world the magnitude of India’s woes. As an award-winning journalist and columnist, Aiyar specializes in the interface of politics and economics. He has broken numerous front-page newspaper stories and has written over a hundred magazine cover features. Accidental India: A history of the nation’s passage through crisis and change is his first book.

Favourite works


I prefer non-fiction -both classics and contemporary. Among contemporary books I have liked Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson, Black Swanby Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Order of Things by Michel Foucault, The End of Nation State by …



I am a birder and a bird photographer with over 10,000 pictures of over 100 species of birds from across India. It would be a book someday. I watch animation films. My current favourite characters are Poh the Dragon Warrior and Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda and Shrek.

More about the Author


I like to cook – from south Indian to vegan continental.

I travel to old and new commercial capitals of the world like Constantinople (now Istanbul), Tokyo and Hong Kong. On the bucket list: Shanghai, Macau, Bandar Abbas, Kabul, Tashkent.