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“Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” – Can Modi Find India a Place in the Sun?

As the coronavirus pandemic starts to wind down, the world’s major economies are struggling to get back to business. The problem seems to be that no one except Elon Musk seems to know how to reopen. No one, that is, except Narendra Modi. While many of the world’s leaders are floundering over coronavirus recovery plans, India’s maverick prime minister Narendra Modi has seized the initiative.

Like most things Modi, his plan to turn the epidemic into an opportunity for remaking India’s economy is long on vision and short on details. “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” doesn’t exactly fall off the English-speaker’s tongue, but it is Hindi for “Self-Reliant India Campaign.” Exactly what self-reliance means, Modi isn’t saying. But one thing we know for certain: it’s not a return to the Congress-era “License Raj.”

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Published inAll ArticlesThe National Interest
Sydney-based globalization expert Salvatore Babones is available to speak on the Chinese economy (demographics, growth, technology), the Belt & Road Initiative, global trade networks, and Australia-China relations. Contact: