Fixing the plumbing—of our political economy

The Indian commentary scene, whatever else may be right or wrong with it, is replete with unselfconscious irony. For two and a half years, a chorus of well-known observers in the domestic and foreign media has cried hoarse that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party- (BJP-) led government have failed to seize the nettle of politically difficult economic reforms. They have been timid gradualists, tinkering incrementalists at best, and not bold, visionary reformers, of the likes of Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan: so went the refrain.

Now, however, that the Narendra Modi government has unleashed its biggest and boldest move yet, fraught with great political risk for the BJP while holding out the possibility of fundamentally transforming the Indian economy for the better, t