At some point during the lecture, a student, an Indian, got up and asked the professor a question. The question was roughly "during the gulf war crisis, India pledged its gold to the IMF to secure money. What is you opinion on that". The professor's answer surprised me. Did I learn something new in that class? He said and I approximate "during the gulf war, most countries went into a fuel crisis and India could not afford to pay the gulf countries money to get the fuel required for her people. It approached the IMF for loan. The IMF said 'your economy is poor, your policies are poor, we can't give you a loan unless you open up your economy and liberalize'. The guy who is the Indian prime minister now, was finance minister then. He was pro-liberalization but his party wasn't - so he used this situation to pass the liberalization bill through parliament. The gold was used to merely secure the loan." The import essentially was - that liberalization came out of a necessity rather than a calculated strategy. This is a professor I respect so much and one whom I consider to be very knowledgable about India.
I didn't really think about - why we liberalized. But just assumed that it was Manmohan Singh's brain-child (even if it was to counter a balance-of-payment crisis). I was torn between India's traditional political habit of exagerration/brain-washing and the possibility of this IMF pressure, being a coincidence. I just went hmmm.
I would be interested in listening to non-jingoistic objective facts on this issue that aren't adultrated by patriotism.