Thursday, November 24, 2005

India: Midnight to Millenium - Shashi Tharoor

I just finished reading this book at the Mumbai Airport on my way back to SFO. It's an excellent book (thanks, Gaurav, for the recommendation). It tapers off towards the end into random musings, but the first two-thirds of the book is really tight and well reasoned. Tharoor, like Rushdie, seems to have been deeply influenced by the Emergency and the sections in the book on Emergency and on social changes in India are quite brilliant, because they are based on his own personal experiences.

He also is very pro-free market. From what I could tell, he went to the US for his Ph.D. and then joined the UN. I don't think he has any "grass-roots" background in domestic policy, business or NGO-type work, as far as I can tell.

I read the book a few months back. I think his account of NRIs however was not quite true. Maybe his account holds true for the 80s NRIs - the ones Tharoor probably meets more.
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