Friday, January 19, 2007

Bollywood's New Capitalist Hero

From today's WSJ: "Guru," the latest Bollywood blockbuster by the respected director Mani Ratnam, is that rare film -- perhaps Bollywood's first -- in which free markets are lauded as a force for good. Aliens emerging from the Taj Mahal would be less surprising.

"Guru" stars Abhishek Bachchan as Gurukant Desai, a character inspired by Dhirubhai Ambani. Ambani was that rare tycoon who went from rags to riches during the worst years of India's license raj, building
Reliance Industries, which today is India's largest private-sector company. In the era in which Ambani flourished, the state strangled private enterprise with licenses, regulations and sundry restrictions.

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