While the Congress has rewritten the narrative that it was the Gulf war that triggered the fiscal crisis of 1991, it was actually Rajiv aka Pappu Sr and his mostly harebrained policies that lead us down the garden path to bankruptcy.

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1/n Rajiv was a prolific spender, the defense budget doubled from 84-89 (only positive) while subsidies quadrupled. But the GDP had a very tepid 3-4% growth rate. So where did the money come from? Deficit financing.

It went from 5.8% in 1981 to 10% by 85. It near doubled
2/n while he did attempt to reverse his mother's disastrous import oriented policies, typical of Pappu Sr it was half baked and undercooked. As a result imports far outstripped our exports.

Our CAD from 0.5% of the GDP in 79 it hit 3.5% of our GDP by 1990.
3/n to fund his internal programs of subsidies (he quadrupled subsidies) he raised the deficit levels, but to fund imports and armaments? He borrowed. India's external borrowing to GDP tripled in real terms from 1982-91. From $25bn to $70bn in 1991. It doubled in % termsvv
4/n Pappu Sr though didn't like saving for a rainy day and our forex reserves plummeted.

From 5.5% of the GDP in 1980 he took it to 1% of the GDP when he remitted office. Gulf war effects only took it to 0.5%. Pappu Sr was more disastrous than a war to our forex reserves.
5/5 india's inflation rate while not the peaks under Indira in 79-81 (10% + ) averaged 8.5% +. So the rural distress was acute.

Except for his rearmament plan (executed poorly) Pappu Sr was an unmitigated disaster for India.

Next, his non revolution of an IT revolution.
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