Fiction | July 25, 2017

In the moments after the accident, Professor Chandra saw not his life flash before him but his ideology. First came his years at Hyderabad, his BA in Economics when he was a Marxist like everyone else; his PhD at Cambridge, when he realised India would have to liberalise if terminal underachievement were to be avoided; his first job at the LSE, where he became fond of saying that communism was simply the most arduous route to capitalism; his decade at Chicago, where Milton Friedman helped him change his tyre in the snow, after which he returned to Cambridge a full professor and a fully fledged neoliberal. And then the crash of 2008, the instant vilification of his tribe, the doubts, the pies in the face, the quite unintended intellectual reboot which meant that now, as he lay on his stomach staring at the tarmac, all he knew was that he was an economist, which was surely an ideology in itself.

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