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Book Review

2025: Our Century Come

Within its slim girth, this book charts out reforms to set right our ailing polity and administration to extirpate corruption and poor governance

2025: Our Century Come
Photograph by Getty Images
2025: Our Century Come
outlookindia.com
2018-11-23T10:47:20+05:30

Bimal Jalan, former RBI governor, wears, and has worn, seve­ral hats.  Jalan was chief economic advi­ser for a long time, a duration surpassed only by Shankar Acharya. Therefore, it’s right to descr­ibe him as an economist.  Those who work for the government rarely have an opportunity, or inclination, to write for the public. Unl­ess I am wrong, his first book was published in 1991, written and published just before the economic ref­orms. Since then, Jalan has written/edited several books.  

Economists, or every specialist, have a narrow view of the world, viewed through their own prisms. How­ever, every economy has a certain social, legal, institutional and constitutional context.  Del­­i­nked from that context, the econom­IST’s view becomes a jaundiced one. Since he was a policy economist, Jalan’s initial books weren’t of the abstr­act and esoteric kind. They were grou­n­ded in reality. Nev­ertheless, they were books economists would have written. In 2003, he became a Rajya Sabha MP. I notice a change thereafter. Every author’s take is based on subjective experiences. Exposed to politics, though not of the hurly-burly kind, Jalan’s interests got diversified; his books became more interesting. I can’t think of many economists who have had the kind of diversified experience requi­red to write the kind of book Jalan writes now.

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