India Grows At Night
A Liberal Case for a Strong State
Indians wryly admit that 'India grows at night'. But that is only half the saying: the full expression is: India grows at night . . . when the government sleeps', suggesting that the nation may be rising despite the state. But wouldn't it be wonderful if India also grew during the day -- in other words, if public policy supported private enterprise? What India needs is a strong liberal state, but, says Das, achieving this will not be easy, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society.
Gurcharan Das is an author and public intellectual, best known for a much-acclaimed trilogy on the classical Indian goals of life. India Unbound is the first, on artha, or 'material well-being', which offers a personal account of India's recent social and economic rise; the second, The Difficulty of Being Good, on dharma, or 'moral well-being', illuminates our day-to-day moral dilemmas through a meditation on the epic Mahabharata; Kama: The Riddle of Desire, on the third goal, teaches us how to cherish desire in order to live a rich, flourishing life.
He graduated in philosophy from Harvard University (Phi Beta Kappa) and later attended Harvard Business School, where he is featured in three case studies. He was CEO of Procter & Gamble India and managing director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (strategic planning). At age fifty, he took early retirement to become a full-time writer. He writes a regular column for the Times of India and five Indian language papers, and contributes to the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs. His other books include India Grows at Night: A Liberal Case for a Strong State, which was on the Financial Times' best books for 2013; a novel, A Fine Family; a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm; and an anthology, Three Plays. He is editing a fifteen-volume history series for Penguin Random House, titled The Story of Indian Business. He lives in Delhi.