ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Banker's Account

No Regrets by D N Ghosh; New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2015; pp xi + 375, ₹695 (hardcover).

I have been acquainted with D N Ghosh now for nearly four decades through his close association with the management of the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW). When I was asked to review D N Ghosh’s latest book, I was somewhat tickled by the proposition. I was just then trying to digest Ghosh’s previous book Business and Polity: Dynamics of a Changing Relationship, an erudite piece of writing. After exploring the variety of historical, economic and political formations over the past two and a half millennia, that book concludes: “For centuries, the business-polity relationship has primarily revolved, almost exclusively, around the interests of the two groups, the ruling political regimes and the wealth-creating elite groups” (Ghosh 2011: 375). I asked myself if such is the writing, would I be competent to review such scholarship? Even so, as I had attended the book release of No Regrets, I realised that it primarily dealt with banking—in particular the drama around bank nationalisation—a subject on which I have been soiling my hands since joining the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in March 1968, in the thick of political turmoil leading to social control over banking.

While the book is not intended to be an exercise in scholarship, it is nevertheless replete with scholarly observations of lessons learnt from events and human experiences.

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