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The Dravidian Years

Nominated | Book Awards 2019 | English Non-fiction

The Dravidian Years

Author: S. Narayana
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

From Haryana to Gujarat to Maharashtra, numerous Indian states have been witness to protests by backward classes pressing for quotas and reservations. In stark contrast is the exemplary case of Tamil Nadu, which has managed to effectively integrate economic and development agenda for the backward classes into state policy. In the fifty years of rule between them, M. Karunanidhi, MGR, and J. Jayalalithaa—the iconic leaders of Tamil Nadu politics—managed to effectively transform institutions and structures to deliver a social welfare agenda in the state.

Was it pure charisma on part of these leaders that gave us the unusual story of politicians and bureaucrats working hand in hand to implement a social agenda? Written by S. Narayan, who as part of the administration was both a witness to and a participant in these developments, this book is an intimate narrative on the Dravidian years of Tamil Nadu. At an important juncture of Tamil Nadu politics, it also makes us wonder: With no charismatic leader in the horizon, who can take the state forward?

About the Author: 

S. Narayan was the economic adviser to the prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during 2003–04. Prior to that he served the Government of India as Finance and Economic Affairs Secretary, and as Secretary in the departments of Revenue, Petroleum, Coal, and Industrial Development.

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