1979: When Will Our 1979 Arrive?


By Amar Yumnam

Christian Caryl has just written a book titled ‘Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century’. Caryl is a former correspondent of Newsweek and now a contributing editor of the periodical Foreign Policy. The year 1979 is absolutely significant for what happens around the world today. First, Deng Xiaoping ushered China into a series of reforms allowing private initiatives to be rewarding in a way path-breaking the Mao tradition in policy making. Second, the nervous Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and well ultimately leading to a disastrous result. Third, Pope John Paul II made the historic visit to Poland, signally the rise to significance of religion in a communist country. Fourth, the era of privatisation was set into a global model with Margaret Thatcher coming to power by defeating the Labour Party government. Fifth, the Shah of Iran was overthrown by the religious-oriented Ayatollah Khomeini regime. As Caryl writes in his new book: “It was in 1979 that the twin forces of markets and religion, discounted for so long, came back with a vengeance.”
One can have differences here and there with the arguments of Caryl, but we must agree at least on this that “


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