Book Review: Kamal Nayan Kabra and Vrajaindra Upadhyay, Plutocracy, Cronyism & Populism

AuthorB. P. Mathur
Published date01 June 2017
Date01 June 2017
Subject MatterBook Reviews
306 Book Reviews
international forums like the Asia and Pacific Conference of Sexual and
Reproductive Health. The razor’s edge stayed at the cutting edge of the interna-
tional discourse. Partnerships with governments and the civil society expanded,
constituencies enlarged and we all dreamt a vision with the author. The vison was
that as women and families realise that fewer children will die during infancy or
childhood, they will begin to have fewer children to reach their desired number
of offspring, and will then be able to move from reproductive roles into more of
the productive opportunities that are made available to them and that make them
visible as producers and workers.
I would like to end by expressing how privileged I feel to have read this book.
Mr Nanda has opened up his life in such a transparent manner. His home, his
family, his work, his relationships. The book holds you, especially if you have
been associated with some parts of this book. The author’s sharp memory in the
way he has remembered the dates of passing away of associates who may or may
not have been very close to him is a bit stunning. The book criticizes without con-
tempt. It affirms principles of human rights without aggression. I end on a note
on congratulating the author not only on the book but the number of boards that
he has been servicing, even after he retired, a number of organisations that he has
been associated with for the cause of gender and rights. For me he has been a very
special ally in the journey of my work.
Madhu Bala Nath
Former Country Representative
EngenderHealth, India
Kamal Nayan Kabra and Vrajaindra Upadhyay, Plutocracy, Cronyism &
Populism. New Delhi: Vitasta, 2017, 414 pp., `695.
DOI: 10.1177/0019556117708928
India launched a new liberalised economic policy in 1991, making a clean break
from the past, with the avowed purpose of accelerating economic growth and
bringing prosperity to the country. The present Modi government came to power
on the plank of ‘development’ agenda. Its economic ideology, however, continues
to be the same as its preceding government’s, with some nuances. What has been
the impact of these policies on the lives of the folk? Has it made a dent on
country’s chronic poverty and the huge army of unemployed and semi-employed
living at the margin of society? A group of dedicated economists under the aus-
pices of the Indian Political Economy Association are bringing out Alternative
Economic Survey, every year, for the last two decades critically assessing socio-
economic changes taking place under the liberalised economic policy regime. The
book Plutocracy, Cronyism & Populism, edited by Kamal Nayan Kabra and
Vrajaindra Upadhyay, is the latest survey of the economic and social health of the
country. It contains twenty-seven chapters written by economists and other experts
covering a wide range of subjects. The study comes to disturbing finding
that economic growth taking place in the country has not made any significant

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