The Book

There are many books critiquing the prevailing market system. 

Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom is a rare and epic narrative about those who have been quietly forging solutions and demonstrated that a more mindful market culture is possible.

This book brings together:

  • Multi-dimensional stories about an emerging, more socially responsible culture of commerce which will appeal to people in different walks of life.

  • Complex insights of daring innovators in a simple and gripping manner. 

  • A road map for breaching barriers, constructed by the free market orthodoxy, to recover the virtues of bazaars as truly open and democratic spaces.

  • Subversive and prudent ideas about how the market can serve society rather than being its master.

While popular non-fiction writing by Western writers about so-called emerging markets is common place, this is a rare in-depth work of reportage and commentary by an Indian author about pressures for change within Northern countries. 

Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom is packed with stories about those far-sighted people who diagnosed the fatal flaws in an economic system driven by greed and fear. Financial wizards, economists, business persons and social activists are challenging the ‘free market’ orthodoxy as they salvage the good of bazaars from the tyranny of a market model that emerged about two centuries ago. This book is a chronicle of their adventures.

From Wall Street icon George Soros and VISA card designer Dee Hock we get an insider critique of the malaise. Creators of community currencies and others, like the father of microfinance Bangladesh’s Muhammad Yunus, explore  how money can work differently. The doctrine of self-interest is unraveled by looking afresh at Adam Smith through the eyes of Amartya Sen. Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of Trusteeship gathers strength as the socially responsible investing phenomenon challenges the power of capital.  Pioneers of the open source and free software movement thrive on  cooperation to drive innovation. The Dalai Lama  and Ela Bhatt demonstrate that it is possible to  compete  compassionately and nurture a more mindful market culture.    

Intricately inter-woven stories about scores of creative initiatives answer such questions as these: Can we resuscitate the planet’s gasping eco-systems only to the extent that the money bottom line of the market will allow? Why do enough responsible people accept, as a gospel truth, the claim that no further miracle drugs would be invented without the motive of enormous private profit? We all enjoy the freedom of open exchange in a market place but is that the same as the ‘free market’? 

A sweeping narrative takes you from the ancient Greek Agora, Indian chaupal, and gift culture of native Americans onto present day Wall Street to illuminate both rebellion and wisdom about how the market can serve society rather than being its master. In a world exhausted by dogma Bazaars, Conversations and Freedom is an open quest for possible futures.

"In this very timely book, Rajni Bakshi documents the audacious
journeys of many pioneers who are trying to make markets work for
society rather than often the other way around."
- Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys


The Author  |  Contents  |  Review  |  Comments Events  |  Order your copy  |  Writings

Home Page