To some he was the tallest Keynesian around who wanted the whiplash of state intervention every now and then to sort out the inherent imperfections of free market economies; to others he was the meanest economist of his time who had ideas about capitalism that were clearly dated.
To some he was a social scientist well-versed in political journalism, who had accidentally strayed into economics; to others he was the only economist of his time who had a Toynbeeian grasp of history.
To some he was an unhealthy sceptic about the consequences of growth; to others he was a capitalist with a social conscience troubled by the widening inequalities consequent to untrammelled growth.
To me, and my generation, he was a great visionary who explained succinctly how the `dismal science' worked, articulating new insights with a freshness that was intoxicating. He was also the great `wordsmith' who transformed the way economics was written, both for the lay public and the initiated.
To most of us, his writing was a joy to read (especially as he used numbers sparingly); with his perfect fusion of style and substance, form and content he could not only educate but entertain too. Seemingly, he wrote so we could quote!
(The author is President, Telekonnectors Ltd, Chennai.)
R. T. Narayanan