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1991: How P. V. Narasimha Rao Made History

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  954 ratings  ·  72 reviews
P. V. Narasimha Rao (or PV as he was popularly known) has been widely praised for enabling the economic reforms that transformed the country in 1991. From the vantage point of his long personal and professional association with the former prime minister, bestselling author Sanjaya Baru shows how PV’s impact on the nation’s fortunes went way beyond the economy.

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Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published September 26th 2016 by Aleph Book Company
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Saswati Sanjaya Baru has written books, including The Accidental Prime Minister, which is now a major motion picture. Other works include The Bombay Plan,…moreSanjaya Baru has written books, including The Accidental Prime Minister, which is now a major motion picture. Other works include The Bombay Plan, available on Amazon.(less)

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3.90  · 
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 ·  954 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Soul longings
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: indian-authors
It is important to know the history of our country as it helps us to learn so many lessons and also gives us strength.
Congress party and its cronies in media have wiped out completely the important contributions of P. V. Narsimha Rao in shaping the economy of our country by his Intelligence, courage, guile and vision. It was quiet a challenge to manouver the ship from troubled waters with a minority government. This book details that period and the challenges faced by PV. A very Interesting acc
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Sitapati's account is much better.
Ashok Krishna
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It was a watershed year in the history of India, as well as of the world. Chaos prevailed both inside and outside India. At the beginning of the year, the country on her West, Iraq, was brought to its knees by America and its allies, on a six-month long war to free Kuwait. This brought a deep strain on the pockets by raising the price of oil. On her East, USSR, one of her own long-term allies, was teetering on a period of political uncertainty. And, this caused a lot of trouble to the expor
Anil Swarup
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
From "Accidental Prime " to the Prime Minister who made history. This is the transition that the author has made as he travels back in time to outline the cataclysmic events, political, economic and diplomatic, that marked the tenure of Narsimha Rao. The author, on this occasion condescends to credit the then Prime Minster with heralding a new era in Indian economy and polity. There are no diatribes as was the case with the "accidental" Prime Minister whom he served a decade and half later. The ...more
Midhun kc
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Expectations shape outcomes in a world of uncertainty. Expectations about the economy end up being self-fulfilling prophecies. If you expect tomorrow to be better than today, you take economic decisions that ensure that tomorrow is indeed better. If, on the other hand, one believes the future to be bleaker than the present, one ends up taking decisions and making choices that contribute to a less than satisfactory outcome.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
By steering India through the tumultuous year of 1991, PV etched his name in history. But, it is true that he had not been given recognition as much as he deserved. This book by Sanjaya Baru attempts to nullify it by detailing PV's role in 1991's Indian affairs: economic, political, foreign. Economic reforms of 1991 in India were not just an inevitable outcome of the crisis India was in. They needed political determination. PV provided it while his predecessors Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Chandra Se ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book gives an insight into the year 1991 in India, the changes she went through, the crisis she faced, and the people who drove the changes. Also the author has bought out details about our PM Narasimha Rao, how he was pulled back into active politics at the verge of retirement and how he successfully managed his tenure as PM. Also other key players of the time like Chandra shekhar and manmohan Singh play a good part of the narration. An overall good read for anyone interested in knowing ab ...more
Janakan Manivannan
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book apart from vivesecting the prime events of 1991 left me pondering over other ones like 1.Dynastic succession unwittingly started by Gandhi in 1929, Nehrus mistake in 1959 for elevating Indira to party presidentship, 2.Indiras right ward turn during her second prime.ministership vis a vis IMF loans 3.the geopolitical, mandal&mandir politocal , economical potpourri of 1991 and how Rao started from a new slate 4. economists vs politicians in 1991 reforms 5.chandrasekars unrenewed trys ...more
Abinav Athreya
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a person born after 1991 the point of liberalization is a fable that we hear constantly from our elders when the conversation of economy comes into picture.

This book by Sanjaya Baru puts into perspective the role of PV Narasimha Rao and how he handled the economic crisis when his predecessor's attempt at the same failed due top various factors. The book is a beacon of light on the variuos people associated with the bold move in 1991.

As a non fiction read it took me time to complete the boo
Umesh Kesavan
The book aims to address the triple upheavals of 1991 - economic, political and geopolitical. The book scores only on the Economic front faithfully reliving the processes which went behind formulating the 1991 reforms. The geopolitical issues are dealt with rather superficially. The political turmoil is recounted in a repetitive and yawn-inducing manner. An average read which would have been racier had the author restricted himself to the liberalization of our economy.
Aniruddh Sudharshan
Only book I have read where the Appendix is more interesting and valuable than the book itself.
The Appendix is Narasimha Rao's historic address to the Congress in 1992 in which the reforms are put in context, also a glimpse of how good a statesman PV would have been.
Skip the book, read the Appendix.
Aditya Surti
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: india-politics
My knowledge of 1991 as it relates to India's history was limited only to the economic liberalization; however reading this book made me understand how crucial 1991 was for India. The economic crisis wherein India had to mortgage its gold reserves, the internal political friction immediately after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and managing international relations both with the East and the West, while staying loyal to the non-alignment stand adopted by India was in itself a major challenge. PV ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The year was 1991, India was entangled with numerous political, economic and geo-political crises and the year was expected to be the worst year in Indian independent history. Accidently a diminutive stodgy congressman sat on the throne of prime minister, which would reshape the destiny of the nation. He reconstructed the country’s economy in a promising manner by implementing various reforms, which no one would dare to execute during that time. He had to face endless carping and criticism from ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
My respect for PV has increased manifold after reading baru’s book and I’m happy PV gave India the governance it needed in a right manner,at the right time that a right man would have done.He literally lifted India from the stagnancy it endured in all the earlier years of dynastic rule.He also proved democratically won leaders can deliver results if only they have the courage and conviction to deliver
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1991 Economic Principle

The book tells about what was changed in indian economic policies during PV period.
PV is not only bringing the industrial revolution also he elevates the people from different state.
Kaustubh Kirti
A great read. Sanjay Baru has cleverly tried to capture the story of one man PV Narasimha Rao at the backdrop of 1991 globalization and that is what is the different from the other memoirs and books of the same time. The book is average but the questions over the legacy of PV which the author raises are genuine. It was a time of change in which a non Nehru led government brought significant change in the Indian policy regime- overturning everything what had been done before and policies which ar ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
It was a pain to go through the book. The author has added loads and loads of opinions everywhere. It's like 80% opinions. "He did good work", "She made a dynasty", "He was known to be XYZ" etc. Much longer and complicated paragraphs and they are all opinions.

When he does talk about facts he does it with big words. Not helpful at all since I don't have any background on politics. There are a lot of words that are just mentioned without any explanation. Besides the big words, the content itself j
Anil Garg
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is superb account of Narasimha Rao era. I already believed that Rao has been the best PM of India, post Nehru era, and India's present success and prosperity is because of him only. Modi must learn some lessons from him. Rao did not come to power with any promises and yet, he delivered within months and that too, without demanding credit for anything. His declaration of Industrial Policy was a testimony. In contrast, Modi came with hefty promises, means he must have come with blue print of ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
World of 1991, Rajiv's death, downfall of economy, birth of new Russia, strategies in selecting new leader for the biggest party, mistakes of earlier PMs, inability of Chandra and many more.

Agriculture loan waived off and led to economy downfall done by VP Singh

A great dreamer of technology - Rajiv Gandhi

Successor who can't be in power - Sonia Gandhi

The person who monitors the situation but can't do anything about it - Chandra

A man of many policies - Jawaharlal Nehru

Split in the party - Indir
Harsh Tibarewala
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Short and quick read on PV (as he is known). Actually to think of it, one of the only few people (outside the Gandhi family) to have ruled India on coalition for full 5 years. Lesser known for the 1991 unleashing of economic policy as the credit when to his FM-Manmohan Singh. However as he rightly put any Finance Minister is like a sum-zero whereby the zero has value only after the digit (which is the Prime Minister).
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good book which describes 1991 political and economic situation of india and how pv handles it. A good account for an introduction on 1991 crisis that changed india forever.
It is a pity that the reforms were not implemented continuously leading to mounting non performing assets and corruption in natural resources allocation .
This book gives an account of the first reforms in a simple way with more emphasis on the political side of the reforms
Mayank Sharma
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I was impressed by the book when it started. There was a good amalgam of Economics and Politics. Somewhere in the middle, it became repetitive and then suddenly it ended. About 15% of the book is Presidential Address which is a verbatim reproduction.
Overall it is still worth a read to gain some understanding of what actually transpired in 1991 and how a diminutive, almost retired politician changed economic direction of a country.
Anand Bajaj
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book as the title suggests gives positive side of PV and highlighting his role in lifting economy in those turbulent times. It also gives bit of history of how indian economy nose dived and reasons behind it. However, the book should have given full perspective of PV's life given the fact that he is the protagonist of the book like dark secrets of Chandra Swamy and handling of babri masjid crisis.

Overall, it's a good book for those who want to get quick dose of what happened in 1991.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unsung hero of Indian politics. May be it was inevitable that liberalization of industries had to happen owing to the circumstances existing in that period but the extent to which the changes were made was unprecedented. Nothing compares to the speed at which changes occurred and we owe a lot to this man whose legacy is shunned by congress party. Only congress PM who significantly developed our country
Swapneel Naidu
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Why Proprietary Congress is India's Achilles Heel!

The perspectives that Sanjay Baru brings in, in this book could not have been more relevant today in 2017 when again Congress is looking to become a proprietary firm. It should also make discerning readers appreciate as to why India is yet to find it's rightful place in the global world order even after more than 70 years of it's independent existence as a nation. Culprit Congress.
Gopesh P
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Understand PV Narasimha Rao, the Great Indian Leader

A historic book about PV Narasimha Rao and his valuable contributions to the nation. This will give a clear understanding about the political stagnation happened during 1989 to 1991. Also, gives a clear understanding about the medians through which India fought back balance of payment issues and economic crisis during the period under the leadership of PV.
Sundar Ganapathy
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Riveting read on the events of 1991 in India and the build up to it.
Sanjaya Baru retains his characteristic strength in detailing .. explaining events from the 1960s onto 1991.
He looks at 1991 from economic ,political and geo-political angle..making it a very balanced book on the happenings of the historic year.
Must read for history lovers and born from the 80s.
It gets repetitive towards the end for a bit..but still a very good read.
This book and Half-Lion end up forming the 2 halves of the PV story. The number of articles and books which provide a context in history for PV - as opposed to the accidental foot-note nature of his tenure, seems to be on the up. This is not a hagiography - but uses 1991 was a great context to lay-up the changes and provide a contrast to the nation we have now with the country we had at that particular point.
Sriram K R
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty comprehensive analysis of the Indian economic liberalization of 1991 and the first Non-Nehruvian government to complete its full term in independent India. Examines the geopolitical, internal and economic factors and background of the economic revolution and offers some great insights into the inner workings of the Congress.
Rahul Srivastava
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Though the book can be repetitive and boring at times, it gives a realization to an Indian Citizen that the economic liberty and ease to do business and open companies which we take for granted didn't exist in the generation of our parents. I was amazed to read how few politicians and bureaucrats changed the entire system, of course after coming across a financial catastrophe.
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Sanjaya Baru is an Indian political commentator and policy analyst, currently serving as Director for Geo-Economics and Strategy at the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Previously he had served as associate editor at The Economic Times and The Times of India, and then chief editor at Business Standard. His father B. P. R. Vithal served as Finance and Planning Secretary during former P ...more
“finance minister is like the numeral zero. Its power depends on the number you place in front of it. The success of a finance minister depends on the support of the prime minister.” 1 likes
“Twenty metric tonnes of confiscated gold, worth US$200 million, held in its vaults was made available by the RBI to the State Bank of India for sale, with a repurchase option, to the Union Bank of Switzerland.” 1 likes
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