Backstage: The Story Behind India’s High Growth Years is a book based on the genre of biographies and memoirs. The book has gained tremendous fame since its arrival and it has readers eager to know what it is all about. The book Backstage talks about the extraordinary life led by Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The book takes readers through the journey of Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s life, from his humble beginnings in Secunderabad to the corridors of power in New Delhi. The book reminds one of the accounts of how India was shaped and scripted. Singh played a pivotal role in the transformation of India from a state-run to a market-based economy. He remained a constant fixture at the top of India’s economic policy establishment for a period of three decades.
The book traverses into politics, personalities, events and crises of India’s recent history. The book attempts to go behind numbers to revive the political reforms and how policy change was pushed through. The book also sheds light upon the time of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It talks about the reforms during 1991 and the severe balance of payment crisis. During this crucial period, Ahluwalia served as a commerce secretary and finance secretary.
As the book proceeds, it tries to justify several aspects and reforms in regards to the International Monetary Fund programme in 1991. Montek Singh discusses the success and failures of the UPA regime. This aspect is discussed during the time when he served as a deputy chairman of the planning commission. Ahluwalia presents the story behind India’s brilliant economic growth in the first half of the UPA’s tenure as well as their historic achievements in poverty alleviation. The book is narrated with wit, humour and remarkable intellect.