In the 75 years since independence, the single biggest transformational leap for our economy was the liberalisation of 1991.
Ironically, the man, who championed this move and saw it through, was no economist. In fact, he was a die-hard protectionist up until a few days before he became Prime Minister.
The transformation of Pamulaparthy Venkata Narasimha Rao, according to his biographer Vinay Sitapathi, came just two days before his swearing in, when, as part of his preparation for the job ahead, the then 69-year-old "read a note given to him by cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra on the economic crisis. It took just a few hours for Rao to change his mind and become an economic liberaliser."
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Text: R Rajesh Kumar, Sify
Images: Sify Archives
Disclaimer: This article is republished from 2017.