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India Grows At Night

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
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. Indias is a tale of private success and public failure. Prosperity is, indeed, spreading across the country even as governance failure pervades public life.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 31st 2013 by Allen Lane (first published September 17th 2012)
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Oct 20, 2013 Siddhangana rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
After reading Gurucharan Das' last release 'The Difficulty of being Good', I picked up 'India grows at Night' with much expectations. Das seems to be stuck with his last book too, having made dharma the central theme of this book as well.

On the brighter side it is a book that can be read to get oneself updated about the current political and economic situation of India. Das has filled his book with data about India's political environment right from Independence with references to even Mahabhar
Sep 29, 2014 Sujeet rated it liked it
India grows at night, while the government sleeps.
India's growth in the last few decades is not because of the Indian Government, but despite it - is the basic premise of this book by Gurucharan Das. He emphasizes how historically India has always been bestowed with a strong populace, but rather a weak government. Be it the warring kings of the princely states, or the marauding foreign invaders or now the populist democratic government, except a few exceptions India has not got the opportunity
Anshu Raj Singh
Oct 26, 2013 Anshu Raj Singh rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I started the book with high expectations but was disappointed. Although Das gives a account of the origins of the weak Indian State but he is repetitive; almost the same thing has been said in most of the chapters,and the worst thing is that same words and phraseology has been used.There is almost nothing new in the book and the ideas given are common knowledge.Also,the strong advocacy of open market economy and economic reforms by Gurcharan Das may not go down well with some readers.

But, in sp
Feb 08, 2013 Arjun rated it it was ok
I read this book with so much expectations after reading his previous book "Difficulty of Being Good". But I feel highly disappointed for his take on some issues in which he is definitely one-sided and that side is known to all. Some of the ideas like "weak state vs strong society" are literally taken from another book "The Origins of Political Order" by Francis Fukuyama. His repeated references of dharma as a contract-enforcing concept in which only the welfare of the contracting parties are ...more
Gorab Jain
Jan 28, 2016 Gorab Jain rated it it was ok
Shelves: indian, 2016
My first book by this author. Civics and politics being out of my comfort zone... though informative but not my cup of tea :(
Got some insights into the basics and formation of Indian politics post independence.
Apr 01, 2016 Venky rated it liked it
Shelves: bibliocase
With Anna Hazare's stirring clarion call for rooting out corruption as the back drop, Gurcharan Das ruminates on the contradiction that is India. Ruled by a deficient and flailing state (the Congress Government with the helpless Manmohan Singh at its helm), India still has managed to carve out a unique niche in the Global Economy as a force to reckon with. This growth is to a great extent, attributable to the unstinting and tireless efforts put in by the people of India acting in various ...more
Dilip Palsaniya
Dec 14, 2012 Dilip Palsaniya rated it really liked it
The title of the book, "India Grows at Night" is only half the saying of the complete sentence: 'India grows at night while the state sleeps.'
The book begins with a famous quote by Aristotle,"The state exists for the sake of good life, not for the sake of life alone." The book has explained the origin of 'weak Indian state' from history of prevailing kingdoms to the presently existing fast paced 21st century situation. The author has advocated for free market economy based on impartial, transpa
Mar 31, 2014 Malavika rated it it was ok
I read this book because it was my book club's selection. We have read a few non fiction books about India's political and socio-economic status. This one is by far the most tedious one. The message is nothing new, and it is presented in a very scattered and confusing manner. There are some interesting facts and the author illustrates some points by quoting situations, I found the writing to be very loose. There did not seem much organization to the chapters either. But in spite of all that ...more
Avijit Singh
Jan 21, 2014 Avijit Singh rated it liked it
Book treads through India's tale after independence and tries to dictate its verdict on how has it been a success at few instances and failure at some other. Bureaucracy, red tapism, nepotism, and license raj of pre- 90s era have been discussed. It shows d future path for how India can be a success story in future on d likes of emerging economies. It also explores d possibility of alternative political establishment in d present era after Anna Hazare movement on Jantar Mantar Through d likes of ...more
May 11, 2013 Shwetank rated it really liked it
Gurcharan Das has undoubtedly been one of the writers/commentators i follow. 'India Grows At Night' was an obvious read therefore. I liked the book as it capture the current scenario which has been shown as a repercussion of '91s reforms. The author also gives his take on recent Anna Hazare agitations and what's in it for the future. Overall, recommended reading, considering there are not many contemporary indian non-fiction authors who can comment on the state of affairs. Also, not to mention, ...more
Gunjan Gupta
Jan 11, 2014 Gunjan Gupta rated it really liked it
Dharma, Corruption, Anna Hazare, Reforms

Gurcharan Das talks about that how throughout history India has been Dharma centric, that is, doing the right thing. It talks about the history of how India grew with all the problems, where it is currently and the future. Das recommends that time has finally come for the second set of Reforms and if properly implemented these new reforms will solve the problem of corruption.

Book depicts the optimism of Gurcharan Das.
I recommend to read this book to get ne
Umesh Kesavan
Jul 15, 2014 Umesh Kesavan rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
The author makes a balanced argument for a strong state so that India grows in the day as well.But there are some negatives in the book as I saw it: Das has overestimated Anna Hazare and his movement. Repetition of points in many pages.Instead of drawing out a 280 page tedious argument, this could have been a 80 page crisp essay with proper pruning. But how else to price this at 500 odd rupees ? :)
Jan 27, 2013 Bitan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book shows simply how much a liberatarian the author is....and the good effects of liberatarian govt.s and how much it can boost a nice insight to the indian society and also highlights some areas where the govt has lots left to do....
Sarath Ramakrishnan
Good read for aspirational citizens
Sajith Kumar
Mar 07, 2016 Sajith Kumar rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-india
‘India Unbound’ was a phenomenal book translated into all Indian languages which told the story of how the economic giant, asleep in a body controlled by fetters of excessive state control was at last unbound and found immense success in the world of trade and commerce. Gurcharan Das, a former CEO of Procter & Gamble India, and now fully dedicated to writing, told the story in a sad, yet moving way. ‘India Grows at Night’ may be considered as a sequel to the first one, in which the author ...more
Overall I enjoyed this, it really got me thinking, it was superbly written and made a strong case, but it did have some problems:

1. Writing style: Although it was lucidly written and persuasive, it could occasionally be pompous, and several unwieldy anecdotes where the great and good are name dropped ('my friend Robert Nozick.') could have been avoided, as could the tendencies towards repetition of the same point over different chapters.

2. Argument Style: More based around assertion and anecdo
Haaris Mateen
Jul 25, 2016 Haaris Mateen rated it it was ok
tl;dr : To play with the blurb on the cover, 'Deserves to be universally ignored'

The book is poorly argued and one gains very little from reading it. Gurcharan Das tries very hard to ground India's potential for good governance (to ultimately support the fountainhead of private enterprise) in texts such as Manusmriti and others. The problem isn't that he quotes at times reasonable concepts from India's history. The issue, in fact, is that Gurcharan Das wants to coerce everything he has with him
Alok Agarwal
Aug 25, 2016 Alok Agarwal rated it really liked it
I like the style of writing of Gurcharan Das which is lucid and informative. Having said this, after reading his 3rd book, I found him to be a little repetitive. In this book Das has advocated for a strong state and a rule of "Dharma". The Arab Spring is the immediate trigger to write this book. During the writing of his book, his views on the characteristics of the state have changed. Many things recommended by Das has subsequently been implemented by the new government while many remain. after ...more
Katakam Teja
Mar 21, 2016 Katakam Teja rated it liked it
Central theme is that our nation is growing at night while the Govt. sleeps at day implying the inefficiency of the Governance and the deep rooted maleficent Redtape.

This author attempts to explain the path of Indian economy using the Indian Social Principles, Cultural Ethos and Political fabric of the Indian Society.

The author states how the ineffectual Nehruvian Economic Principles that lead to a static, monopolized and anti-captalist Industrial environment which severely handicapped the gro
Jun 09, 2015 Ayush rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine read from Mr. Das. Not as amazing as India Unbound and Difficulty of Being good was.

Mr. Das tells us about how despite repetitive failure of Indian Government and administration, India was able to sustain its growth post 1991 reforms. He makes strong points towards the need of a liberal strong state with proper regulators in place to support the fierce competition that next generations of reforms will bring in.
He talks about the all the reforms such as Political, economic, polic
Ajitabh Pandey
The book helps a reader gets updated about the current social and political scenario of India. It helps understand the reader as to how India is growing inspite of a weak State. There is an in-depth discussion of political and social scenarios right from the time of independence and how the reforms started during Rajiv Gandhi and Narsimha Rao government have helped India to its current state. It also explains that how a weak coalition government and a weak prime minister stalled the growth ...more
Krishan Singh
Dec 24, 2015 Krishan Singh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-have, india
Contrary to the negative reviews that I read before I started to read this book, I would term it as one of the finest works of Gurcharan Das. The idea of a Classical liberal state, which has a conspicuous influence over the book and its author, appears to be a panacea to many of India's problems. The concept of Dharma - the rule of law, binds the book together and makes the reader contemplate over the role of the state in a modern democracy.
A first class read, for those who are looking for solut
Oct 25, 2015 Azamali rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Rising Economy, an Aspiring Society and a Declining State

1. The India Model

2. A People but No State

3. A Crisis in the Rule of Law

4. A Flailing State

5. The Dharma of Capitalism

6. Middle-class Dignity

7. Politics of Aspiration

8. Confronting Corruption

9. What Is to Be Done?

Conclusion: A Quest for a Strong, Liberal State
Jan 17, 2014 Taran added it
gurcharan das mentions all those people in this book when he wrote it.... who are today active in delhi's Aam admi party's victory in delhi elections.. and he has been very successful in bringing forth the causes of the problem in indian politics.. corruption and lawlessness. but took one step further and devised the soloutions to these problems and makes them easy to absorb and understand for readers like me by comparing the situations with mahabharata. its a must read book for indian youth
Anil Swarup
Jan 06, 2013 Anil Swarup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well researched analyses of what is wrong with the Indian Polity. Gurcharan advocates a strong but liberal state. It sounds like an oxymoron but he builds it beautifully. Though his leaning towards and liking for Adam Smith does not desert him, he attempts to look at a more balanced approach as he builds the prescription.
Manoj Saha
May 02, 2016 Manoj Saha rated it it was amazing
A great read for us to understand where we are and why it is a liberal case for a strong state. A very well balanced commentary on the basis for linguistic states, successes and failures, license raj to inspector raj and reformed / unreformed sectors and what attempts were made to curb corruption and what happened and how the future will shape up.
Vish Patil
Jul 22, 2014 Vish Patil rated it really liked it
One more of the Das books, After reading India Unbound, I was to read this part as it was a sequel. Das has an amazing way of expressing himself in a book. Its as though he is travelling, meeting people and making notes all at once. There are things that add value to libertarian ways but I feel Gurcharan has been too sober a person while talking about corruption.
Abhishek Upadhayay
Apr 26, 2013 Abhishek Upadhayay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: like-fishing
The best thing about Gurucharan Das's writing is its always filled with optimism. This book is all about our inherent character. Despite the lethargic governance there is a hope. A hope that we indians can make it. Highly recommend it for those who love this country but may not be openly admitting it.
Sep 23, 2013 Joanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to read this for class. Not a terrible well written book the author jumps around a LOT and it's hard to follow his ideas when that happens. Once I got to about the halfway point, I felt like the author finally got his groove and I was actually engrossed. Overall he has some good ideas, but on the whole most of it feels too grandiose and not plausible.
Ankit Agrawal
Oct 08, 2012 Ankit Agrawal rated it really liked it
As it proclaims on the cover, the book carves out a strong case for a classic liberal state. Worth reading to explore the idea of a state different from one conceived by political forces of various hues today, and one based on sound principles of rule of law and liberty.
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Gurcharan Das (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਚਰਨ ਦਾਸ, Hindi: गुरचरण दास), (born October 3, 1943), is an Indian author, commentator and public intellectual. He is the author of The Difficulty of Being Good: On the subtle art of dharma which interrogates the epic, Mahabharata. His international bestseller, India Unbound, is a narrative account of India from Independence to the global Information Age, and has been ...more
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“Customs inspectors could not stop the export of software through telephone lines; labour inspectors could not stop software engineers from talking to customers in America at night; excise inspectors could not harass the IT firms because the government did not levy tax on services. Much like Gurgaon, India’s knowledge economy literally grew at night when the government slept.” 1 likes
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