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India Unbound

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,866 ratings  ·  167 reviews
The author describes the transformation of India in the 1990's as she moved into the Information Age and the growing prosperity that has resulted.
419 pages
Published by Penguin Books India (first published January 1st 2000)
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Riku Sayuj

Through most of the reading I wanted to be critical of the book. I was disappointed that the wisdom that was characteristic of the Das who wrote The Difficulty of Being Good was not much on display in his exploration of the 2nd of the four foundational principles (Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha) of Indian life [sic]. I could only conclude that it must be difficult for one man to take on the challenge of elucidating all four. I also had some fun imagining that this might be even more the case if he
I have memories of Naipaulesque India: people claiming cultural and spiritual superiority over the rest of the world while the country was consumed by poverty, the so called Indian socialists making a life and political career out of refuting everything in the world, leftist professors poisoning the minds of vulnerable uni students that they can remove the stupidity of the human nature by chanting slogans, all such nonsense only ended up in making India borrow food and pawn its gold.
Also on the
Palash Bansal
A well written book from the perspective of a businessman. The book basically revolves around the travel experiences of Gurcharan Das encompassing his excellent observational and analytical skills.
The basic drawback of this book is that the hypothesis and conclusion drawn by the author is completely one sided. Its a story of what he experienced by talking to his co-workers, partners, rivals, analysts and other people from the corporate world. True that India is shining, there is a great growth
Vibina Venugopal
This book is a precise thoughts of Gurcharan Das former CEO of P&G, Hope, a business consultant,venture capitalist about India's economy and state of affairs..
He points out that India’s economy has been on the passive front until the information technology plunged India to forefront…Companies like Infosys and schools like NIT have a big hand in shaping up this image of better India thus adding to 9.2% growth every year.. Now it seems as though India has a promising potential to become of the
"India will never be a tiger.It is an elephant that has begun to lumber and move ahead. It will never have speed, but it will always stamina"

Well !!!!!
I started my review with the quote by Gurchuran Das.
In my school days, i learnt about how my country is great in relation to its glorious and amazing history and how rigoursly we are maintaining this tradition by trying to attain a truly democratic and soverign society.

For a nation to be great, there requires its development on all three fronts
Saurabh Sharma
A brilliantly written book that gives you more than just a snapshot of the Indian economy. The book by former director of Procter and Gamble takes you on a journey that brings you up close with factors and circumstances that have shaped the India we know today. The book looks at the various socio-economic and cultural conditions that have had a bearing on India and its economy, providing a number of snippets and anecdotes that help the reader in understanding the largest democracy of the world. ...more
A very readable account of India through its journey as an independent nation. Informative yet gripping. Objective yet personal. If you are inquisitive about post-independence India, but don't know where to start, start here.
"They say that the measure of a civilization is how it treats its women. Since coming to Delhi I have met many women who long for Bombay. My wife explains that Bombay gives women dignity. If Bombay respects women, Delhi looks on them as sex objects. In Bombay, she can take a taxi at midnight; in Delhi a girl cannot walk freely on the street in the evening. It seems that it takes more than education to bring civilization." (pg 231) "It took Ramesh Chauhan decades of sweat, toil, and brand buildin ...more
India Unbound is the name of the book I read last semester. It is written by a person who was president of a multinational company P & G in the 1980s when India was in socialist era. Frustration of working in the era when Government did everything to stop private firms from working is visible. Gurucharan Das author of this book is very intelligent man. He has Philosophy degree from Harvard and has immense knowledge of economic and foreign policies of India since independence.
He has exactly d
An absolutely joy to read and a must-read for anyone trying to understand Contemporary India. I was actually sad this book ended.

Here's my review from my blog. June 2007 [SPOILER ALERT]

I finished reading the book a few weeks ago, and I’m officially declaring it as one of my favorites. I’m sure many great men and women have reviewed this book much more objectively and eloquently than I could ever hope for. So this is not going to be your traditional review, in fact I’m not quite sure what this

Reluctantly, I ordered 'India Unbound' by Gurcharan Das in first week of September. I have never read any books related to economics or any of his books. But once I started to read the book, I was so impressed by the way Das explained the economics of India in rather simple words.

Gurcharan Das has been able to convey the minute details of the License Raj just after India attained independence under Jawarharlal Nehru and how Nehru intended the welfare of the people of the co
Mukesh Kumar
Not a perfect book by any means, in particular the rail against Socialist policies of Nehru and the single pointed demonizing of the Indian bureaucracy seem a little simplistic and one-sided. Although the author rejected the whole concept of 'Mixed' economy of India after independence as idealistic and wish-fulfilling, his whole-hearted endorsement of economic reforms as the panacea for all perils seems much the same. Also one has to keep in mind that Nehru and his economic policies were as much ...more
Sharath Chandra Darsha
After reading the book, I came to know the importance of 1991 economic reforms. It was so sad to know that policies introduced by Nehru and his contemporary leaders with good intentions in fact had a negative impact on our economy. Nehru and his planners did not trust Indian private entrepreneurs, So they made the state the entrepreneur. It was a failure leading to corruption, non-accountability of public employees and less returns for tax payers money. Moreover, Indira Gandhi made the situation ...more
Akhil Parekh
India Unbound is an excellent book for someone who wants to know about India's economic and social transformation in past 200 years. Gurucharan Das writes a story in a very mind griping way. Book communicates India's continuing rise from poverty to prosperity and the clash of visions that different leaders offered post Independence era. The book is neatly divided into three different sections, primarily into India under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and P.V. Narismha Rao.

First tw

Nandasiri Wanninayaka
India Unbound is a 2000 non-fiction book by Gurcharan Das. It is an account of India’s economic development and policy changes between the period of 1942 to 1999.

The book tells us the period between 1942 to 1965 in its first section, ‘Spring of Hope,’ the era of Prime Minister Nehru and the backwardness of the economy that affected the development of India. It further discusses the era of post independence economic policies. Das criticizes Nehru’s economic policies as there is more state control
Bubesh Kumar
This is a book about the economic history of India, it's political backdrop and the social impact, from Independence till 2000. Its theme is how a rich country became poor and will be rich again.The author, as he writes, hangs the chronicle on his own personal experience. The author, argues lucidly and forcefully for a market economy and is highly critical of the socialist/mixed economy that India followed under Nehru and later Indira Gandhi, the corrupt controlled economy and inefficient public ...more
Arun Divakar
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

As the time was nearing midnight on 14th of August 1947, a soft spoken m
Ashutosh Dwivedi
So, I read the book a while back and although as a non-fiction book it was well written but as a history book it relatively disappoints.

Gurucharan Das has told the story in first-person and as such has vastly limited the scope of the book. While the book promised an economic history of India, it does begin on a positive note but later on becomes restrictive.

He also glosses over some sincere efforts of the state and provides little data driven or expert-driven approach allowing readers to reach
Vijayendra Mohanty
A great overview of India's economic history since independence, through the economic reforms of 1991, right to the initial years of the new millennium. Gurcharan Das takes a balanced look at India's chances of becoming a solid new global presence by evaluating the state of affairs through social and political conditions that pretty much uniquely Indian right now.
Fascinating socioeconomic introspective on India. A worthwhile read if you're considering doing business within India. From social structure to leadership on why India has has a slow economic growth.
Shruti Sandilya
A very well written book, which highlights not only the roadblocks which India India faced and still does but very optimistically focuses on the solutions which can solve most of its problems that she is grappling with. The solutions highlighted, at the time when this book was written, have found to bring the expected results when you compare the recent data. The afterword put up by the author in 2007 for the later editions is brilliant and establishes faith in the potential of India. The later ...more
This is THE book (though getting slighly outdated in references) that I recommend to everone interested in understanding the post independece years until the year 2000.
Venkat Krishna
Gurucharan Das talks about the economic policies of post Independent India and critiques about the Socialistic Democratic policies adopted by India on contrary to free market capitalism of the developed countries. He talks about the stifling times of bureaucratic red tapism which shackled the Industrial growth and the FERA and MRTP policies which killed the growth and permitted the growth of License Raj system in India.
He also talks about the Changing times in India post the 1991 reforms and th
Gautham R
Gurucharan Dad writes a business man's view of Indian history and quite succeeds in making us conforming to his views.

The first few chapters talk about the times of Nehru and Indira Gandhi. These chapters give a chronological order of events that followed after the independence. But the main crux of the book is the final chapters were Gurucharan is at his best in dispensing his ideas on the economic conditions in India. This is the reason one has to read this book.

Though a bit outdated, definit
After India after Gandhi, this is another must read jewel that one needs to read to understand India- This book surely complements the Ramachandra Guha’s “India after Gandhi – while India after Gandhi tries to address mainly the political situations in India after independence, India Unbound takes you through the repercussions of those political decisions on the Indian economy. The book tries to decipher the reasons behind the haphazard performance of the economy in the post independent era alth ...more
Anshu Raj Singh
I am quite perplexed after reading this book.On ideological grounds I am against most of the things this book vouches for, and then also I liked the book.
In this semi-autobiographical work Das deals with the economic history of India.He starts from the medieval ages and his thrust is on unraveling the cause of economic backwardness of India.And the reason of this according to him is the policy of socialism and economic isolation followed by the govt. of Jawahar Lal Nehru and the successive gover
Money or the ability to make more of it, doesn't excite me. I stay away from personal finance discussion, which seem to ubiquitous nowadays . Business page of newspapers remain unread at my home. I have only basic knowledge of macro and micro economic concepts, and I am not ashamed of it.
However, the fact that this book, with basic theme of Economic growth in Post-Independent India, hooked me to read cover to cover shows the extreme readability of Gurucharan Das's essays.
May be because, it is no
Akshay Ahuja
The book covers economic history of India and the major social and political impacts that the economic policies had on the Indians. The book starts with the state of affairs of Indian society just before Independence and highlights the importance of British rule. The author, Mr. Das stresses how Britishers helped Indians set up a comptent railway network and an effective bureaucracy.
Mr. Das notes early on that India had two economic paths to take after independence - on of Gandhian self suffici
Richa Jha
Well, I know India a lot better after the read. I am not sure if Gurucharan Das is biased or has ignored other aspects of India as mentioned in other reviews. For an amateur like me still figuring out India's history and it's stand in the world, I think it was an excellent read.

Going with the title, Das has demonstrated how India after the post Independence has always had a potential to be unbound by obstacles. Even through the struggles of License Raj, the Birlas, the Tatas and the Ambanis bro

Though i had read a few books on economics but this is the only one which dealt with indian economy in a story-like manner.

It is written very very well specially considering that it deals with an obtuse fact like India's industrial policy. It uses instances from the life of writer (who started as an intern in a company and went on to become a CMD and then a consultant and writer)

His idea is that India has suffered heavily due to wrong decisions of its leaders. It is highly critical of India's po
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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 pub ...more
More about Gurcharan Das...
The Difficulty of Being Good : On the Subtle Art of Dharma India Grows At Night: A Liberal Case for A Strong State The Elephant Paradigm: India Wrestles With Change A Fine Family Incredible India

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“When individuals blunder, it is unfortuante and their families go down. When rulers fail, it is a national tragedy” 1 likes
“Good intentions are useless in the absence of common sense. —JAMI, BAHARISTAN” 0 likes
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