TiE delegation had a visit with President Mukherjee on the 15th evening.
Pranab Mukherjee had been a part of Mrs. Gandhi’s cabinet almost from start and was the finance minister for most of that time. He was the chief architect of her anti-market agenda. He was responsible for single handedly destroying the confidence of international investors in India when he changed law retroactively to override supreme court’s decision against the government in the Vodafone case in 2012. This resulted in the collapse of Rupee in 2013 and probably contributed to the defeat of Congress in 2014 elections.
President was contrite for his mistakes and admitted that they had backed losing policies and had doubled down when they did not work. He probably had not read Hayak’s “Road to Serfdom”. He said he would do it differently if he had a chance to do it again. He talked about entrepreneurship and market efficiencies. He talked about investing in people and betting on their aspirations.
Reminded me of a Hindi saying; ” Nau sau Chuhe kha ke billy Haj to challi” ( having eaten 9 hundred mice, cat is finally going to Mecca for a Haj). I guess the english equivalent would be “a death-bed conversion”.
I was nevertheless taken aback with his candidness and sincerity. Almost felt sorry for him.
Here is a link to YouTube Video taken by them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRvMCaSqlMg