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. India’s is a tale of private success and public failure. Prosperity is, indeed, spreading across the country even as governance failure pervades public life. But how could a nation become one of the world’s fastest-growing economies when it’s governed by a weak, ineffective state? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if India also grew during the day—in other words, if public policy supported private enterprise? What India needs, Gurcharan Das says, is a strong liberal state. Such a state would have the authority to take quick, decisive action, it would have the rule of law to ensure those actions are legitimate and finally, it would be accountable to the people. But achieving this will not be easy, says Das, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society. About the Author Gurcharan Das is a well known author, commentator and public intellectual. He is the author of the much acclaimed The Difficulty of Being Good, and the international bestseller India Unbound, which has been translated into many languages and filmed by the BBC. His other works include the novel, A Fine Family, a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and an anthology, Three Plays, consisting of Larins Sahib, Mira and 9 Jakhoo Hill. Gurcharan Das writes a regular column for a number of Indian newspapers including the Times of India and occasional guest columns for Newsweek, Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs. Gurcharan Das graduated from Harvard University and was CEO of Procter and Gamble India before he took early retirement to become a full time writer. He lives in Delhi.
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