Five years (2011-2016) as India’s Bureau Chief for the Financial Times gave James Crabtree a perfect ringside view of India’s political and business games. He has poured his phenomenal access to the country’s biggest ‘Bollygarchs’ into a pacy account of, what can be classified as tumultuous years of change in India, into his book, The Billionaire Raj.
A disintegrating UPA, the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the phenomenal rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the controversial demonetisation experiment and the widely acknowledged surge in crony capitalism form the backdrop of his book.
“It’s a character-driven book. I was interested in these characters; the big tycoons, the big politicians, the fugitive billionaires, the shadowy power brokers,” Crabtree says, speaking about the characters in his book.
Here is a special Connected to India interview conducted by Vikram Khanna, Associate Editor, The Straits Times with the author.