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Gurcharan Das is one of India's most celebrated authors and thinkers. He is best known for two iconic, best-selling books: India Unbound offers a personal account of India’s economic rise and is available in numerous languages and filmed by the BBC. The Guardian called it 'a quiet earthquake!' The second,The Difficulty of Being Good, illuminates our day to day moral dilemmas, and ‘one of the best things I’ve read about contribution of great literature to ethical thought,’ according to the philosopher, Martha Nussbaum. The New York Times says, '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.'

Gurcharan Das graduated in philosophy with honors from Harvard University, where he was inducted in 2013 into Phi Beta Kappa for ‘high attainments in liberal scholarship.’ He also attended Harvard Business School (AMP) where he is featured in four case studies. He was CEO of Procter & Gamble India and Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (Strategic Planning) before he retired early to become a full-time writer. His newspaper columns on current issues and philosophy are among the most widely read in the country.

His other books include India Grows at Night: A liberal case for a strong state, which was on the FT’s best books for 2013. Another major work, Kama: The Riddle of Desire, teaches how to cherish desire in order to live a rich, flourishing life. He has also written a novel, A Fine Family; a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and an anthology, Three Plays. His most recent titles are a memoir, Another Sort of Freedom, which describes his lifelong struggle to give meaning and purpose in life, and a longish essay, and The Dilemma of the Indian Liberal. He has edited for Penguin a 15-volume economic and business history of India, and he lives in Delhi with his wife.

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Happy Milestones: A Photo Album

Troublemaker, Age 2

In Lyollpur, 1945

Scholarships to Harvard, Princeton and Yale, age 16

The Washington Post, 1959

At Harvard

Student of philosophy, age 18

A prize for Larins Sahib, age 25

The Times of India, 1968

Mira premiers Off-Broadway

New York, 1970

Wedding photo

Delhi 1970

CEO of Procter & Gamble India

Mumbai 1980, age 37

A Fine Family

With Bunu and the boys, Kim Kanishka and Puru Pulakesin

Another Fine Family

A novel about three generations a Punjabi family, 1991

Full-time writer at his desk

Jor Bagh, New Delhi, 1995

Regular columnist, The Times of India, 1997 - 2022

Laxman’s caricature which initially accompanied the column


Published 2000. Looking sceptical in a BBC interview.

Awarded Harvard University’s Highest Honour

for high attainments in liberal scholarship

The Difficulty of Being Good, 2009

Explaining a moral dilemma

India Grows at Night, 2013

when the government sleeps

Kama: The Riddle of Desire, 2018

on the third aim of life

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