Launch of India Since 1980
Dr Sanjaya Baru, Editor of The Business Standard, launches Šumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji’s India Since 1980.
Dr Sanjaya Baru said at the launch that he was happy to be releasing a book, which was written by friends and published by friends – this he said was a rare event. He has known both the authors and Director of India, Manas Saikia, for a long time.
Dr Baru raised the issue of why the book was called India Since 1980, since most academics would see the 1990s as the decade that changed India. In his reply, Professor Šumit Ganguly explained that this book was part of the Cambridge series The World Since 1980. This series includes the titles Brazil Since 1980, Japan Since 1980, Israel Since 1980 and more.
India since 1980 considers the remarkable transformations that have taken place in India since 1980, a period that began with the assassination of the formidable Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her death, and that of her son Rajiv seven years later, marked the end of the Nehru-Gandhi era.
Although the country remains one of the few democracies in the developing world, many of the policies instigated by these earlier regimes have been swept away to make room for dramatic alterations in the political, economic and social landscape.
Šumit Ganguly and Rahul Mukherji chart these developments with particular reference to social and political mobilization, the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its challenge to Nehruvian secularism and the changes to foreign policy that, in combination with its meteoric economic development, have ensured India a significant place on the world stage.
Author Rahul Mukherji spoke at the event about how his contribution to the book was informed by his position as a political economist. Then Professor Sudha Pai, Rector and Professor at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, spoke about the book especially in relation to the land acquisition policies and the growth of caste politics.
Šumit Ganguly (Professor of Political Science and the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University, Bloomington) and Rahul Mukherji (Associate Professor of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore) are leading political scientists of South Asia.
The event was well-attended by academics, members of the book trade and the media.