“Something tremendous is happening in India, and Das, with his keen eye and often elegant prose, has his finger firmly on the pulse of the transformation.”

The New York Times

Modi a ‘calculated risk,’ says Indian business leader: CNN


India is taking a “calculated risk” with the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister, Indian business leader and public intellectual Gurcharan Das told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“It’s obviously a risk you take when you bring in a strong person. But I believe that India has enough constrain...

Gurcharan Das on the differences between India and China at Emory University

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International best-selling author and public intellectual Gurcharan Das speaks with Emory professor of religion Paul Courtright on the dramatic differences between India and China on all levels of society, politics, and economics.

"India is a bottom-up success, while China is a top-down success. India is a success of the people, despite the state; China is a success because of the state," says Das.

Das visited Emory as a Halle Distinguished Fellow in September 2012 to give a public talk, "India Grows at N...

New Book

India Grows at Night‘Why should it take us 15 years to get justice in the courts or 12 years to build a road?’ argues Gurcharan Das.…You need a strong state and a strong society, so the society can hold the state accountable. India will only get a strong state when the best of society join the government and China will only get a strong society when the best Mandarins go into the private sector.’ --Tom Friedman, New York Times, 6 February 2013

‘The book raises some excellent questions...India is an open tolerant country. So why does liberalism not flourish there? Mr Das insists that liberal ideas offer the clearest answer to many of India’s woes. Corruption, for example, will not be beaten with a big, new authoritarian bureaucracy, as anti-graft protesters want. Instead discretionary powers must be wrested from dodgy bureaucrats and politicians, the state made smaller, and markets allowed, openly and freely...Mr Das’s celebration of liberalism is admirable.’ --The Economist, 10 Nov 2012

“Das has written a timely book that deserves to be widely read. And it has its share of hard-headed proposals....Simply calling for less government is no answer, says Das. It needs also to be strong. Indian capitalism needs an honest referee...India has much to celebrate nowadays but also faces a cacophony of institutional challenges....Das’s core argument is right and urgent." --Ed Luce, Financial Times, 25 January 2013

Read his latest column

Civic virtue seldom comes naturally to human beings. It needs constant, relentless reminding and nowhere more than in India, which is still struggling to create citizens out of its people. The word ‘civic’ comes from ancient Greece and is related to ‘city’ and ‘civility’. A ‘citizen’ lived in a city and a ‘civilized’ person was expected t...

Last week India sent a satellite into orbit around Mars,with a low-cost, nimble mission that has stunned the world. At $74m over three years, the cost was roughly one-ninth that of the latest (also successful) US mission, which took six years. And in reaching the red planet on its first attempt, India’s space agency succeeded where many other leading powers – including the US, Russia,C...