On 15 August 1947, most Indians had stars in their eyes as they looked ahead to a glorious future as a free country. In this first-of-its-kind book, Jaimini Bhagwati analyses the key political, foreign policy and economic decisions of all the premiers from Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi, to understand how well they steered the nation on the path of progress and development.
With his long experience in the corridors of power, Bhagwati reveals fascinating behind-the-scenes events and offers fresh insights into each PM’s governance. For instance, Nehru, considered a ‘socialist’ by some, in fact acted according to the prevailing wisdom of highly regarded economists; why P.V. Narasimha Rao has not received adequate credit for heralding economic reforms; how Atal Bihari Vajpayee followed in the footsteps of Nehru and Rao; and how and why Modi focused on the delivery of basics to the poor. Using a novel framework, Bhagwati also assesses the PMs on the values of Character, Competence and Charisma, to measure their impact on India’s story.
Grand in sweep and thoroughly researched, this deeply engaging book sheds new light on independent India’s history. As it critically examines whether our leaders always put the country first, The Promise of India provides an incisive overview of India’s political culture and what keeps its democracy ticking.