In January 2018, Prime Minister Modi said economic protectionism "can’t be considered lesser risk than terrorism or climate change.”

Yet India is now firmly on the path of import-substitution and aiming for 'self-reliance':
The Prime Minister made this comparison – saying protectionism is like terrorism – at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2018:
Yet this is what Modi has been saying of late:

"There are many products that find their way into the country from outside resulting in wasteful expenditure..."
What explains this shift from 'protectionism is no less than terrorism' to 'we must reduce 'wasteful expenditure.'.

You might think it was the Covid-19 crisis, yet Modi has been moving towards protectionism from much before:
Covid-19, of course, might have accelerated this trend.

But what lies behind it? Especially when many of the economic thinkers who have worked with the Modi government considered protectionism a Nehruvian era relic?
All of that, plus much more on the Political Fix, my newsletter on Indian politics and policy, which includes, headlines, analysis and links to the best pieces from around the web.

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