SINGAPORE - India’s tumultuous journey in the decade that culminated in the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is examined in a new book by veteran Straits Times journalist Ravi Velloor.
India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears chronicles the country’s transition at several levels, the strategic sweet spot it enjoys as it is wooed by all major powers, and assesses its potential to become the world’s fifth largest economic power by the end of this decade.
The 384-page book is a collection of anecdotes and observations of the significant events that marked the decade of Congress Party rule under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2004 - 2014), that led to the rise of Mr Modi.
Mr Velloor, an Associate Editor with the ST who writes its weekly “Speaking of Asia” columns, said: “In an Asia caught in rapid transition, no country is as fascinating to report on as India.
“Big, noisy, bulging at the seams, India’s economy and society move much like traffic on a New Delhi road.
“For every high horsepower engine on the road, there is the cycle rickshaw and the humanly powered pushcart frustrating those who seek to travel more quickly.
“But behind its warts and obvious confusions, a pattern is discernible of an India that warrants optimism. This is an India of resilience, of improvisation, a nation of multiple ethnicities in 29 states gelling as one, even as they steadily and confidently embrace the world outside.”
Singapore’s former Foreign Minister George Yeo, who contributed a lengthy foreword, said: “Each chapter cuts a different slice into the complex reality which is India. Like a CT scan, the slices combine to give the reader a composite sense of the unfolding Indian drama.
“Importantly for Asia, it also looks closely at the strategic sweet spot India has found itself in, wooed by every major power. India is too big to be ignored.”
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez added: “Ravi knows India like few other correspondents and he has a knack for telling a good story. This book is a worthy addition to our growing list of authoritative accounts on events in our region by seasoned ST correspondents.”
Ms Susan Long, general manager of publisher Straits Times Press, called it “an evocative and portrait of India in transition.”
The book will be launched on April 21 at the National Library Board by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. It will be sold at S$34.90 (including GST) at all major bookstories and online at www.stpressbooks.com.sg from Friday (April 15).