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Can India reach its potential?

India Rising by veteran ST associate editor Ravi Velloor gives insider look at a country at the cusp of greatness.

An insider look into an India in transition has been released by The Straits Times and Straits Times Press.

Penned by ST associate editor Ravi Velloor, India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears looks at the decade of Congress Party rule under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, culminating in the rise of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Acknowledging Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who launched the book this afternoon at the National Library, for sparking an India fever in the 1990s when he was Prime Minister, Ravi said that this book was a two-year labour of love. He said: “The book marks significant events of the Manmohan Singh years and examines those issues. There is a loose chronological order, but I wrote it in a way that you can begin the book anywhere. Each chapter is self-contained and I wrote it for the reader who has a general interest in India and keen to know more about it.

Ravi, who helms the “Speaking of Asia” column in ST, has reported from across Asia and the US in a career spanning 35 years. Formerly ST’s Foreign Editor and South Asia Bureau Chief, he is a Jefferson Fellow as well as a founding life-member of the Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia and a co-founder of India Club, Singapore.

ESM Goh said: “I continue to believe in the immense potential of India. Ravi Velloor has covered my visits to India and I’ve read his articles. He’s a keen observer of events and a good narrator. India Rising adequately covers the key political changes of India and conveys the country’s great optimism. But India has seen its fortunes come and go. There were missed opportunities. So as an old friend of India, I shall conclude with two suggestions.

“India should boldly venture beyond and strive to be a global manufacturer… And to be a global manufacturer, India has to be increasingly connected to the rest of the world through roads, rail, sea and air. I believe India has not fully appreciated air connectivity… As India grows, I see India becoming a major destination in its own right as well as a global aviation hub for air travellers.

“To conclude, my wish is not for just India to rise but also to take off and achieve sustained flight. So Ravi, I hope you will write a sequel to India Rising. An apt title would be India Flying.”