How was it to live in Pre- 1991 reform era: Swaminathan Aiyar


How was it to live in Pre- 1991 reform era: Swaminathan Aiyar

Pradip Bhandari, the CEO and founder of Jan ki Baat talks to Swaminathan Aiyar, a renowned journalist and columnist about the changes in India post the 1991 LPG (Liberalisation, Privatization and Globalization) reforms under the governance of Narasimha Rao to today’s Modi.

Swaminathan Aiyar believes that the reforms have made it possible for us to have some hope in life, to aspire to rise to the top, to become a multi-billionare or to be the best in the world. Today, we have Mr.Birla and Mr.Manmohan Singh. Hence, there’s hope ans there’s scope while earlier the most common question to ask was, ‘Why don’t you leave this country?’

Aiyar talked about India’s transition from a closed to an open economy. In an instance of his life in the pre-liberalisation era, he says that we have got over a completely abnormal economy. Earlier, a car could be bought for 22,000 and sold after 5-6 years for 60,000. So, how was it possible? It was possible owing to the shortage in the number of cars. The value of the car would go up if it has been possessed by a VIP or a journalist.

However, the real fundamental issue that the country faces is that of the Police Judicial Reforms, Civil Services Reforms and Institutional Reforms. In today’s era, there is a huge advantage for every law breaker who make the people who follow the laws look like an idiot. The criminals belonging to the rich sections of society get off scot free whereas the criminals of the starving illiterate sections are put into jails.

So when will we get our ‘New 1991 Movement’?

Having lived through 1942, the 50s, 60s and the 70s, Aiyar says, for 1991 movement, we wouldn’t be where we are. We are infact really lucky to live in the post 1991 era.

Aiyar signed off with his message that to become a superpower, explosive positive anger on the part of the citizens is required. AAP is one such example which rose to fight against corruption. Modi himself is cleaning the economy and bringing in a good quality of governance. Hence, the Indians have to be sufficiently angry so that the politicians take them seriously. In his final message to the youth, Aiyar instilled the citizens with the proverbial ‘The Sky is the limit.’

Though liberalisation has improved the lives of Indians in many aspects, there still remains a long road to travel, as far too many Indians still yearn for the first sight of liberalisation in their lives.

Pradip Bhandari
Pradip Bhandari is the recipient of young leader award 2014 in the largest Indian Model Youth Parliament. He is a public policy graduate who is a Daly College and MIT Manipal alumnus. A believer in "Be the change you want to see", he wants to give voice to the citizens.

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How was it to live in Pre- 1991 reform era: Swaminathan Aiyar

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