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Quote of the Day: Nicholas Meyer on India's License Raj

Wrath of Khan director and Seven-Percent Solution author Nicholas Meyer on India's "License Raj" before Rajiv Gandhi's turn to neoliberalism:

Nicholas Meyer: It was the most, the best, the worst; it was inspiring, dispiriting, colorful, irresistible—you name it. It was also a labyrinthine bureaucracy, whose economic models were India’s long-time ally, the USSR, for whom economics (to paraphrase John McCain) was not a strong suit. This meant, among other things, that everything you brought into the country, you had to take out again when you left. A vacuum cleaner, for example, might deprive a sweeper of his job, so it had to go back with us. There was no Coca-Cola, only their poisonous approximation, and no cars except the ones they manufactured, called Ambassadors. (Driving in India makes you believe in karma.) The crew was great at improvising solutions to the endless problems that presented themselves. One day when we needed our tulip crane for a big shot, I was flummoxed to learn that four of its bolts had been stolen, incapacitating a vital piece of equipment. I don’t deal well with last-minute alterations to The Plan, but my Indian crew managed to mill four new bolts by the time we were ready to roll. India.

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