Book Discussion: A New Idea of India

Harsh Madhusudan & Rajeev Mantri
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For the better part of seven decades after independence, the Nehruvian idea of India held sway in India's polity, even if it was not always in consonance with the views of Jawaharlal Nehru himself. Three key features constituted the crux of the Nehruvian way: socialism, which in practice devolved to corruption and stagnation; secularism, which boxed citizens into group membership and diluted individual identity; and non-alignment, which effectively placed India in the Communist camp.In the early nineties, India started a gradual withdrawal from this path. But it was only in 2019, with Narendra Modi’s second successive win in the general elections, that this philosophy is finally being replaced by a worldview that acknowledges India as an ancient civilisation, even if a young republic, and that sees citizens as equal for developmental and other purposes.

A New Idea of India constructs and expounds on a new framework beyond the rough and tumble of partisan politics.Lucid in its laying out of ideas and policies while taking a novel position, this book is illuminated by years of research and the authors’ first-hand experiences, as citizens, entrepreneurs and investors, of the vagaries and challenges of India.

Harsh Gupta ‘Madhusudan’ is an India-based public markets investor. He has written extensively on economics, finance and politics for Mint, Swarajya, The Wall Street Journal, The Indian Express and other publications.Harsh enrolled to study at IIT Delhi, before dropping out. He graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB degree in economics. He also holds an MBA from INSEAD. He is on Twitter @HarshMadhusudan.

Rajeev Mantri is an India-based entrepreneur and investor, investing in public companies and early-stage technology ventures. He has contributed articles on political economy, technology, investing and entrepreneurship to Mint, Swarajya, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Indian Express and other publications. Rajeev graduated with a BS in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Columbia University, specialising in private equity and value investing. He is on Twitter @RMantri.