This book provides a critical evaluation of the successes and failures of Indian government at many levels. Jayanta Kumar Ray argues that India cannot claim to have reached the attainable level of good performance. The government of India has failed to adopt or implement policies conducive to such optimum use of available human and material resources so as to replace mass poverty with mass prosperity. Accessing a variety of primary and secondary source material, Ray highlights the wide gap between potentialalities and actualities, and the lapses in economic, political, social and administrative fields.
Trinidadian journalist-novelist Naipaul stresses that much has changed since his 1962 trip to India, which yielded his darkly pessimistic book India: A Wounded Civilization. In this kaleidoscopic, layered travelogue, he portrays ``a country of a million little mutinies,'' reeling with ``rage and revolt,'' as percolating ideas of freedom shake loose the old moral ethos rooted in caste and class. Despite what he terms regional, religious and sectarian excesses, Naipaul sees possibilities for regeneration in the new freedoms, yet this skewed essay is fraught with bewilderment and sorrow as he reels off a familiar litany of problems--terrible poverty, shoddy manufactured goods, ugly neo-modern architecture, etc.--and comes to terms with his own past: his ancestors were indentured servants of Indian descent. Most interesting here are the dozens of first-person stories by Indians themselves, ranging from a wealthy young stockbroker to anti-religionists to a publisher of women's magazines. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Jan.)