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Annus Horribilis: It wasn't just Covid that made 2020 one of the worst years

The food crisis of the 1960s gave birth to the Green Revolution, and out of 1970s' stagnation was born the first, weak impulses for economic reform. T N Ninan wonders what good will come out of 2020

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Indian Economy | Weekend Ruminations | Delhi Riots 2020

T N Ninan 



T N Ninan

We are into the closing week of a year that must go down as the worst since Independence, mostly but not only because of Covid-19. The other single year that comes close is 1975, which saw two years of political unrest culminate in the imposition of dictatorial rule and the virtual suspension of the Constitution. The country emerged from that trauma in 21 months. Among economic nightmares, the worst was not 1991 but the mid-1960s, when the combined impact of the 1965 war with Pakistan and twin droughts brought the country to its knees, devalued its currency, and made it a supplicant for American grain to feed itself even as famine raged in Bihar. Per capita income was virtually stagnant in the decade of the 1970s that followed.

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First Published: Fri, December 25 2020. 18:38 IST

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