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India Unbound (Extract No 1)

“Indians have not traditionally accorded a high place to the making of money. The Vaishya or bania (merchant) is placed third in the four-caste hierarchy, behind the Brahmin and the Kshatriya (warrior, landowner), and only a step ahead of the labouring Shudra. Since the economic reforms, making money has become increasingly respectable and the sons of Brahmins and Kshatriyas are getting M.B.A.’s and want to become entrepreneurs. India is in the midst of a social revolution rivaled perhaps only by the ascent of Japan’s merchant class during the 1868 Meiji Restoration, which helped transform Japan from an underdeveloped group of islands into a thriving modern society and economy. The commercial spirit is not limited to the cities. The smallest village has found it.”

Gurcharan DAS, India Unbound, Anchor Books, Introduction p. XIII

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