were not slow to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity
that had unexpectedly come their way. They created a web of controls
and regulations of Byzantine complexity, through which they alone
could help desperate businessmen find their way, of course, for a
fee. In course of time, India's became one of the most regulated
economies outside the communist world, and thereby one of the most
corrupt polities and bureaucracies.
Socialism, a euphemism for an economy
dominated by bureaucrats and politicians, was the central pillar of
the Nehru system and that essentially remained the case, under
Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Indira Gandhi began to recognize the
need to liberalize controls and regulations on her return to office
in January 1980. She, however, was too conscious of her popular
appeal based on reckless populism in the past, and too cautious in
her approach to liberate the economy of the political- bureaucratic
stranglehold in a significant way.