TO THE BRINK AND BACK: India's 1991 Story

TO THE BRINK AND BACK India s Story The book The Brink and Back is an account of the events leading to the path breaking economic liberalisation unveiled by Rao s government with Manmohan Singh as the Union finance minister

  • Title: TO THE BRINK AND BACK: India's 1991 Story
  • Author: Jairam Ramesh
  • ISBN: 8129137801
  • Page: 357
  • Format: Paperback
  • The book, The Brink and Back, is an account of the events leading to the path breaking economic liberalisation unveiled by Rao s government with Manmohan Singh as the Union finance minister

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    1 thought on “TO THE BRINK AND BACK: India's 1991 Story”

    1. January 1991 was the year when India was in acute economic crisis with only about 900 million dollars in foreign exchange reserves. The thumb rule is that the nation must have at least enough reserves to cover three months of import bills whereas India had only enough for a couple of weeks. It was at this time that the new Congress government, a minority government at that, assumed power in New Delhi, with Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister. Rao was the first ever PM from southern India since I [...]

    2. Despite being privy to discussions and confabulations that changed the course of Indian Economy, Jairam Ramesh fails to recreate those magical moments in his book. Official notes have been quoted to drive home his points but do not make for a very interesting reading. With so much already written about this period, the author indeed had a difficult task at hand. Hence, he perhaps attempted to provide an "insider's view" to what had happened. He does come up with some revelations but even these a [...]

    3. The year was 2011. It was the final match of the Cricket World Cup. India were in trouble, chasing a steep target. The Indian captain, first bailed the team out with a calm, calculated performance and then sent the ball sailing across the ropes, sealing a victory that gladdened the hearts of a billion Indians.Now, imagine one of the support staff from the team deciding to write a book about that emphatic win. Also imagine the 'support staff' claiming that the captain was unsure about what he was [...]

    4. Jairam Ramesh makes two incredibly superior points by repeatedly dwelling upon the following facets.1. That the Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao many times commissioned him to write his draft speeches and never used them.2. That he was a part of discussions by several people who all agreed with what needs to be done and repeatedly said the same things over and over again.Knowing these two things have made me highly knowledgeable about the circumstances in which India went to the brink and made it [...]

    5. The book is an insider account of the first 100 days of the Narasimha Rao government and the actions taken by it in the second half of 1991. The book gave a remarkable sense of deja vu as I could relive those extended ET reading sessions and matching what was read to what was being studied in the first year of B.Com in the Kolhapur college. Am looking forward to more analytical pieces to come out in the near future though as the silver jubilee of the unleashing of economic reforms of 1991 comes [...]

    6. This is the book, if you have not read much about the economic crisis of 1990/1991, you should pick to understand the immense contribution of PV Narasimha Rao and Dr. Manmohan Singh in getting India out of a crisis which could have resulted in the country going bankrupt. How the duo just not averted the crisis but also opened the door of liberalization.Commendable job by Jairam Ramesh in bringing out this book.

    7. This book - an account of events taking place around 1991's economic liberalisation - falls short of an interesting read. Author has spent too many pages quoting his personal notes, news articles, parliament sessions and press conferences which are dull. Some paragraphs around Manmohan Singh and the last chapter describing Narasimha Rao were pleasant reads. But, overall, author fails to create the ecstasy around such big event.

    8. I had heard Ramesh at a management convention extolling the role played by Narasimha Rao in turning around the country's economic fortunes in 1991. But in the book, he equivocates in his praise for Rao's role and personality while being liberal in his praise for Singh. Perhaps he was under pressure to toe the Congress party's line. Despite having worked so closely with Rao, Ramesh seems to almost defend Rao's humiliation by his party. The narrative style is also jarring. It looks more like a Gov [...]

    9. From a historical context I thoroughly enjoyed the book.Having seen Mr Manmohan Singh as one of the worst performing PM's of India I really wanted to read this book. After this book, I hold Mr Singh in very high regards. The only problem is that , at times the book gets a bit, too technical for a reader who doesn't have a commerce background.

    10. More books need to written on 91 reforms91 reforms are epoch breaking and everyone wants to take credit for it. It was really transformational and changed fortunes of Indians and lifted millions out of poverty. More books need to be written describing this historical event.

    11. The short review for the book named “To the Brink & Back” by former minister and one of the political leaders whom I admire, Jairam Ramesh. This book is purely an account of 1991 economy crisis & how Indian government handled it. Being a student of economics, being a 22 years old guy who has high interest in politics and being a person who sees Dr. Manmohan Singh as an idol, this book is far valuable for meparixit.wordpress/2016/As book cover itself expresses, this book primarily foc [...]

    12. Jairam Ramesh provides some insider information on the weeks and months leading up the historic 24 July 1991 budget that ushered in an era of liberalization and de-regulation in Indian industry and finance. Ramesh's appointment in the PMO gave him direct access to the plans and decisions undertaken by Narasimha Rao as well as the finance minister of the time, Manmohan Singh. The book is derived primarily from the author's notes from various meetings with officials in the PMO as well as the PM an [...]

    13. Read this book if you want to go through the step by step story of the period July to August 1991 when the actual steps to globalise Indian economy took place. There are brief glimpses of the past to build the story of why the country faced the massive balance of payment crisis in 1991 but most of the chapters focus mainly on the day to day happenings during those 2-3 months. The build up chapter is good when the author established the painful facts about Indian economy. He talks about the flowi [...]

    14. Jairam Ramesh describes the 3 months in 1991 when Indian economy changed its course, for good. Then Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao and Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh made a great pair to drive Indian economy out of deep trouble. This book gives high level background on what went wrong that caused the 1991 crisis. What makes his writing more credible is that he was part of the PMO during that time and hence there is lot of personal touch to the writing.Obviously, being a loyal Congressman, he [...]

    15. Nice insight into the momentous events of June-September 1991 when Indian economy underwent its most significant course correction. Thoughtful of the author to bring out this book as next year marks the 25th anniversary of the historic 1991 budget and industrial reforms. Good page-turner filled with notes, references and newspaper clips. Credible observations on the personalities of PVN and MMS, collectively author terms both of them a jugalbandi where Foxy Rao couldn't have done much without he [...]

    16. I have always been fascinated by Narasimha Rao. I believe he has been our best prime minister (corruption allegations notwithstanding.) This book gives a sneak into what happened during the initial few months. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had defaulted. Look at where Greece is today.Understand Jairam had only a limited view of everything that was going on, but somewhere I felt it did not give a complete picture of the circumstances and the cut and thrust of the political dis [...]

    17. The book is a scholarly attempt by Jairam Ramesh and provides some very insightful details of the times, dilemmas and decisions. However, timing of the book is interesting. I cannot help but think that the book has been politically motivated and Jairam may be trying to give credit of the economic reform to Congress not just then in 1991 (which is very well accepted) but also now. There is very little doubt that Congress had some stalwarts who had deep thinking but what didn't move their agenda w [...]

    18. Earlier i was sceptical to read this book, because i wanted to avoid reading anything sycophantic.I must say wasn't surprised. I have read a lot about India's liberalisation, and also about Manmohan Singh and PV Narsimha Rao. I was expecting a little more from this book, since this has been written by an Author who was there. But it has dissapointed me. There are so many boring Official Reports that you will just want to skip the pages.

    19. Average-ish. Thought many of the stories building up to the moment had promise, but the characters lacked depth - the book had enough material to potentially be at the level of 'Indian Summer' (which I enjoyed). Also, Ramesh's frequent, thinly veiled attempts at clearing the record and righting insignificant wrongs done to him three decades after the event were quite amusing.

    20. Apart from a much needed and decent tribute to PVN Rao for his role in 1991 crisis, the book is largely a self-boasting manual for the author. Annoying and irrelevant to the critical steps taken at those turbulent times!

    21. The Congress party's insider view of daily activities during the dreadful summer of 1991. An insightful read replete with anecdotes and newspaper articles to provide a wholistic understanding. A treat for macroeconomy enthusiasts.

    22. Not as good as I had expected. The writer seems to be pre-occupied with himself most of the time. He seems too reluctant to give even thrifty credit to PM Rao while showering extravagant on his Congress comrades.

    23. Jairam Ramesh provides an insider perspective to the 1991 financial crisis that India faced. Having read a large amount of material on the crisis, Ramesh did not have much to offer. The novelty of this book is that it shows us the decision making process which went behind the reforms.

    24. Good bookGood book on those times . PV & Singh. What a combination. But PV lost out after that. Thank god , jairam brought back the perspective

    25. An extremely disappointing attempt of self glorification by an overtly narcissistic guy I thought was an intellectual powerhouse! Hey jairam, can i have my money back?

    26. A good political narrative and insider account of the event and some perspective. But not a critical analysis, and also lacks economic narrative

    27. Well articulated. A must read if you are interested in Indian politics and want an insider take on the 1991 financial crisis that our nation averted!

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