Accidental India

by Shankkar Aiyar

Category: Non-Fiction

In Accidental India: A History of the Nation’s Passage through Crisis and Change, noted journalist-analyst, Shankkar Aiyar, examines India’s ascent through the paradigm of seven game changers: the economic liberalization of 1991, the Green Revolution of the sixties, the nationalization of banks in 1969, Operation Flood in the seventies, the mid-day meal scheme of 1982, the software revolution of the nineties, and the passing of the Right to Information Act in 2005. He argues that these turning points in the country’s history were not the result of foresight or careful planning but were rather the accidental consequences of major crises that had to be resolved at any cost.

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About the Author

In this brilliant and learned book, the author uses specific milestones-such as the Green Revolution which freed India from the fear of famine and delivered food security; the midday meal scheme which spurred school enrollment and literacy; the natio..

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Praise for the Book

  • “India’s growth since Independence is impressive but it has come in spurts. That India has acted decisively only under the shadow of crisis is the theme of Accidental India. One many not necessarily agree with the interpretation of developments, nevertheless this book is an excellent commentary on India’s economic performance. Shankkar Aiyar’s book reveals painstaking research, a firm grasp of facts and is written in a style that makes for smooth and pleasant reading.” —Dr C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council
  • “Accidental India is a brilliantly researched, path-breaking book located at the intersection of politics and economics. Shankkar Aiyar digs deep into history to analyse the cause and catalysts of game changing moments to demonstrate that very often it is crisis and serendipity—not so much policy or political purpose—that has propelled the India story. This engaging analysis is a must-read to comprehend the politics of change in modern India.” —Nandan Nilekani, Chairman UIDAI & former CEO, Infosys
  • “Accidental India is an authoritative, thought-provoking study which encapsulates 65 years of India’s political economy with clarity. The author-with a fiercely beating Indian heart-combines a racy narrative with statistical analysis to prove that while dangerous patterns can be fascinating in themselves, they carry serious implications for India and other developing nations. Shankkar Aiyar’s compassionate critique is recommended for leaders in public policy, private enterprise and those who want to catalyse positive change.”—Deepak Parekh, Business Icon

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