ABSTRACT

As India assimilated with the world economy under colonial rule, particularly since the mid-nineteenth century, it has been drawn into the vortex of global economic debates. The rise of neo-Keynesianism and the welfare state in the West and consolidation of socialism in the erstwhile USSR in the post-Second World War period coincided with India’s independence from colonial rule, tempting it to experiment with dirigisme but without adequate success—at least in terms of economic growth and raising standards of living—for it to be sustainable. As the world made a structural break in the 1980s towards neoliberalism, embodied in the privatization-liberalization-globalization mantra, India found itself unable to swim against the tide.