The American India Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation jointly hosted famous author and commentator Gurcharan Das for a book reading event Oct. 17 at the SVCF headquarters here.
Other event partners included Stanford Center for South Asia, Institute of International Studies at Berkeley, World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum.
At the event, Gurcharan talked about his latest book “India Grows at Night — A Liberal Case For a Strong State.” In his address, Gurcharan talked about how India’s rise has been a story of private success and public failure. He termed this phenomenon as “India grows at night while the government sleeps.”
He explained how India became the world’s second fastest growing economy despite a weak, flailing state. But the recent slowdown that India has begun to experience is a result of the weak state. What India needs, Gurcharan said, is a strong state that has the authority to take quick, decisive action, where it does not take a decade to build a road or for a common man to get justice.
But achieving this, Das said, is not going to be easy, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society.
More than 100 attendees were present at the event, many of them traveling from as far as Sonoma. Prof. Pradeep Chhibber from the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley moderated the event.