The post-liberalisation generation

I read recently that 2009-10 is an important year for India since all children born during the beginnings of India’s economic liberalisation of 1991-92 turn 18 years of age now.

The news brought back memories. My dad was in the civil services and during that tumultous phase was for a while one of the three secretaries (ie. a  senior bureaucrat) of the ministry of finance during Mr Manmohan Singh’s stint as India’s finance minister. I remember those days being vicariously involved in the whole liberalisation process. Dad would rush off to many meetings looking excited (a 55 year old bureaucrat getting excited is always a sight!) and would come home all agog with the news that things are changing in India.

I was a child of the cusp. My working life started in 1989 just before all this brouhaha (as a trainee software jock in TCS after qualifying as a chartered accountant, but that is another story) and in 1991 the world changed pretty definitively. The most immediate impact of India’s economic liberalisation was that my salary went from an adequate (at that time at least) Rs 2500 per month to an absurdly indecent figure of Rs 10,000 per month. What with that and my dad’s old amby, I was even able to attract girlfriends, which is of course the acme of life at that stage. So, I remain forever a commited free-marketeer and hormones are partly to blame.

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