Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors - Pallavi Aiyar

China holds a deep fascination for India's urban elite. This is the China of double digit growth and unending capital inflows, of shining new cities, six lane expressways and spanking clean airports. This is also what India's elite aspire for.

The inevitable comparison with China is ever present in the Indian media - why is our Gurgoan not like Pudong or why is India able to attract only a fraction of the investment that is flowing into China? So is the desire to match China in different spheres - in the splendour of the just staged Olympic Games, in the recent flawless demonstration of prowess in space technology.

While China's development story is common knowledge, what is less well understood is what it is that really makes China tick. From where does the government derive its legitimacy? What is the relationship between the citizens and the government? Are there stresses and strains in this relationship? How do the subjects view the changes being brought about in their lives? Is the development in China sustainable?Read full review..

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