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Since its independence in 1947, India's leaders have sought to grasp the greatness that the country seemed destined for. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, articulated these aspirations early on but, overwhelmed by development challenges, his successors focused largely on domestic concerns rather than on global leadership. The post-1991 era saw India positioned for the first time in many decades as an economic success, suggesting that it was on the cusp of breaking out as a global player.
The twenty-odd years following the 1991 reforms were heady for India. Based on the expectation that India was now poised to ascend as a major power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-less than a year after he first took office in May 2014-expressed his desire that India assume a leading role: completing the transformation from being merely an influential entity into one whose weight and preferences are defining for international politics.
Grasping Greatness explores the various tasks pertaining to this push for eminence in world affairs. It elaborates the economic, state-building, and international dimensions of this ambition. Eminent thinkers like Rakesh Mohan, Ila Patnaik, Surjit Bhalla, Arjun Subramanian, and others reflect upon the tasks at hand and the desirable routes to achieve them.
Edited by Ashley J. Tellis, Bibek Debroy and C. Raja Mohan, Grasping Greatness is an important contribution to the intellectual debates as India enters into a new era on the world stage.