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Five years ago, India was an emerging world power being courted by the world's most powerful political and business leaders, an upbeat story of unparalleled economic growth. Since then, it has failed to account for the human capital at the heart of its effort to modernize: more than one billion people clamoring for what has become known as the "Indian Dream"—an education, a career, and an opportunity to pull one's family out of poverty and into prosperity. Today, India is suffering an immense crisis of confidence—crippling political corruption, politicians mired in the status quo, economic inequality, brutal violence against women, and rampant social injustice.
Simon Denyer, former Indian bureau chief for the Washington Post, perceptively captures India at this crucial tilting point in its history—from the Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty that has ruled the country for most of its post-independence years, to flawed heroes such as news anchor Arnab Goswami and anticorruption crusader Arvind Kejwiral, to, most compelling, ordinary people fighting daily against corruption and the system. They, Denyer convincingly shows, are harnessing the force of the world's largest democracy to positive effect, demanding transparency and accountability as never before. The battle between the deep-rooted system of graft and patronage and the forces demanding change will have huge global significance, and Denyer's insight makes Rogue Elephant a vital contribution to the international conversation about India's present and future.