The Gated Republic: India's Public Policy Failures and Private Solutions

The Gated Republic: India's Public Policy Failures and Private Solutions

Shankkar Aiyar


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Seventy years since it became a republic, India has come a long way. But it is still failing on some key fronts. Piped drinking water for all continues to be a pipe dream; homes and businesses are haunted by power outages; the lack of proper primary health care renders the poorest more vulnerable; millions of children coming out of schools lack rudimentary skills; and the security of lives and enterprises, a source of great anxiety, depends on private contractors. Indians are seceding from dependence on the government for these most basic of services and are investing in the pay-and-plug economy. They have internalized the incapacity of the state to deliver these and are opting for private providers despite the costs. But can India sustain private republics amidst public failures in a landscape scarred by social and economic fault lines? What are the possible solutions? Can government reinvent itself? The Gated Republic presents an interrogative view of the history and future of private India.


Shankkar Aiyar:
Shankkar Aiyar is a political economy analyst, columnist and author with more than three decades of journalistic experience. He was Managing Editor at India Today and Head of Special Investigations at the Indian Express, and has received awards for excellence. His previous books include Accidental India and Aadhaar: A Biometric History of India's 12-Digit Revolution.