A New India, Old Problems?

Siddhartha Deb, Author and Associate Professor, The New School ; Aatish Taseer, Author and Journalist

This summer marked twenty years since India’s economy was opened by then Finance Minister and current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s landmark budget, changing India’s policies from statist to market-friendly. This shift ignited the fuse for rapid growth that greatly changed the lives of India’s people. Since the passage of that momentous budget, however, political corruption has been a major problem for the country. Bribery scandals recently mobilized tens of thousands of citizens in support of the anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare, in what some are calling a new middle-class led rebellion. Hazare’s hunger strike in August compelled Indian politicians to concede to his call for tougher laws against bribery and graft in a moment of triumph for this growing movement. What will be the consequences of this emerging group’s political empowerment on external matters, such as India’s relationship with Pakistan, and how exactly has rapid globalization informed the rise of the middle-class? Join The Chicago Council as Siddhartha Deb and Aatish Taseer discuss how instability in the region, economic concerns, and growing problems with corruption, among other challenges, impact India and its neighbor, Pakistan, as a newly activated political class emerges.

Speaker Bio

Additional Information

Deb’s latest book, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Taseer’s newest book, Noon, will be available for purchase and signing after the program.