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The Politics of Poverty

The Politics of Poverty
Planning India's Development

First Edition

October 2012 | 284 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Dr D. K. Rangnekar was a leading public intellectual who marked his presence as the editor of the Economic Times and later the Business Standard. This collection brings together a discerning selection of his writings that are organized across four themes: social and political dimensions of development; international context to India’s experiment; planning and budgets; and industrial and economic policy. The writings begin in the early 1960s and end in 1984—at the cusp of radical transformation of India’s economic policies and political fabric—thus providing an important handbook of the times.

The collection includes reflections on PL480 and the accompanying devaluation; the 1970s call for a New International Economic Order and the problems of development in an unequal world; and G77 solidarity and the Uruguay Round of negotiations of GATT. Drawing on Dr Rangnekar’s expertise in planning, budgets, and black money, the collection includes his commentaries on the transition from Nehruism and planned development to the difficult foundations of India’s contemporary economic performance.

The selection is accompanied by essays from T.N. Ninan, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Sanjaya Baru.

T N Ninan
Preface and Acknowledgements

Dwijen Rangnekar
Introduction and Overview: Humanist Economics as Public Reason by PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

Crisis Today: The Dimming of Hope

Politics of Poverty-I: The Deepening Social Crisis

Politics of Poverty-II: A Quiet Burial of Ideology

The Ritual of Remembering Gandhi

Farmers' Stir-I: Writing on the Nasik Wall

Farmers' Stir-II: Changes in Inter-Sectoral Price Parity

Will the Rains Fill Our Bowls?

Economic Co-Operation

North-South Divide: An Economic Analysis

Today's Controversies-I: Delhi's Attitude to Aid

Today's Controversies-II: Fertilizer and Foreign Capital

Trade Prospects

The Annual Indian Rope Trick

Nehruism and the Second Phase

Second Thoughts on Indian Planning

To Earn or Not to Spend The Taxing Question

India: The Emerging Industrial Power

Crisis Today-I: Failure to Stem Structural Deterioration

Crisis Today-II: Anti-inflation Follies

Crisis Today-III: IMF Borrowals: Perils of Economic Chaos

Industrial Policy

Conclusion and Afterword

Sanjaya Baru


An easy read on crucial economic and political issues for the first three and a half decades after independence...the volume is for those who are searching for explanations for the paradoxes of our time.

Frontline, 31 May 2013

A delight for a researcher who gets in one place all thought processes and critiques on issues that were held sacrosanct for around three decades.... on the whole, the book is likely to appeal more to those who have lived through both the pre and post- reform eras, when we swung from mixed to an open economic system...but when he talks of public poliy, poverty and inequality, it rings a bell even today. In that sense, this book is timely and helps evoke introspection.
Business Standard

[The book] gives the reader a rare insight into the man he [Ranganekar] was, with essays by T.N. Ninan, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Sanjay Baru...Rangnekar’s balanced perspective, long-term vision and discourse on issues that are as alive today as they were then, make the essays in the book a must read.
Business India

Neatly edited and indexed, the book succeeds in unravelling the genius of D.N. Ranganekar. It should be read by everyone interested in Indian economy, especially business journalists.

Business World

An elaborate study at the country’s economy by dwelling upon issues both at the micro and macro level...a candid attempt to address the cause of the common man.

The Tribune, 12 January 2014

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