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India Grows At Night

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  762 ratings  ·  67 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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Sep 01, 2013 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 07, 2014 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
Feb 07, 2013 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 ta ...more
Priyanka Sharma
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This was my first book by Das and I know I am late. The data is old and a lot has happened since 2012 but the analysis was well done, articulation is perfect. It’s like a journey the author takes you on. I like how he connected the dots between ancient times and present whilst bluntly bashing bureaucratic and political class. Although, I guess it could’ve been better or maybe, it was more relevant when it was released. Nonetheless, it was a good read but the argument gets too repetitive at times ...more
Anshu Raj Singh
Jul 08, 2013 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
Chaitanya Sethi
Jul 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was a rather dull read. For me, the chapters merged into each other. I could not even take away anything substantial from it. I was just rushing to finish it. It seemed like it was an intellectual trying to do what he does best - talk about ideals and situations in thin air. I genuinely do not understand what I was supposed to take away with me when this book finished. The only thing that I understood was that he liked Anna Hazare and that he didn't like Indira Gandhi's tenure as the Prime ...more
Tina Das
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Not as engaging as the other book which I had read and I'm re-reading again this year.
This book does have it's good moments
But somewhere down the line I kept losing track and had to go back to read again. Maybe I'm not intellectual enough.
But overall an okay book.
Haaris Mateen
Apr 21, 2016 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
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 capabil ...more
Dilip Palsaniya
Dec 14, 2012 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 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 ther ...more
Avijit Singh
Dec 08, 2013 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
Apr 11, 2013 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 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
Mar 12, 2014 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 ? :)
Anil Swarup
Jan 03, 2013 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.
Jan 27, 2013 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....
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: z2016, indian
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.
Sarath Ramakrishnan
Good read for aspirational citizens
Sonia Javadekar
India grows at night by Gurucharan Das is a sharp criticism of India’s government which is incapable of handling its own populace and thereby the public of India is evolving and developing on its own steam. The rampant corruption that existed in the UPA government is the clear message from this book. The rise of the middle class is an inevitable outcome as the government fails to meet the expectation of these people. Anna Hazare’s andolan is the propeller for this movement. He ignited the spark ...more
Sajith Kumar
Feb 27, 2016 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 identi ...more
Ganesh Sanal
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: india, non-fiction
This book was formed in a response to the extraordinary scandalous term of central government and the subsequent Anna Hazare movement in 2011. As the subtitle suggest, the central theme of this work is 'a liberal case for a strong state'. Although the memory of all those events still stay fresh in my memory and Facebook timeline, I wanted to brood in hindsight 6 years later under a liberal (at least economically) and, without doubt, a strong state. I really enjoyed the experience, although it is ...more
Kalyan  Turaga
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like read contemporary politics books.

What I liked:
How the word 'dharma' is explained in the context of Indian institutions and polity.
How India is unique in solving or attempted to address its problems
Why is federalism good
Why 'Laissez-faire' can work for India

The author interweaves his personal experiences, Indian mentality, Indian mythology, World history to narrate his opinion. This book is a dense once and needs at least 4 to 5 reading before you get it ( for my dum
Pratap Padhi
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
Unlike his earlier books that I have read (India Unbound, The Difficulty of Being Good) which were well researched, this one seems more or less a repetition of his earlier arguments on the socio economic and political system of modern India. Though his hypothesis of India being a case of private success and public failure is apparently correct yet if verified more minutely there is a lot of scope of moderating the statement. Even if the pace of public growth has been frustrating yet there is no ...more
Atharv Paranjpe
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The author Mr. Gurucharan Das is someone who has enormous experience and fantastic analytical mind. He always brings all his qualities in his books and this one is no different.

A highly recommended book for MBA aspirants who are preparing for GDs and PIs.

Many of the ideas mentioned in the book have been implemented today by Mr. Narandra Modi led government. Yet there are many ideas which can be implemented to improve the political scenario in India.

Somewhere i feel the book talks about the se
Aniket Patil
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay read, Not fully updated in today's scenario. However, some steps have been taking by present government. I liked the ideologies used in this book. overall it was easy book for those who have been familiar with such kinds of books and ideologies. A simple read. Got very little things to extract from this book. If someone is not aware of political ideologies and philosophies then they might found it tough other wise its maska. ...more
Kaustubh Gaurh
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked the writing style of the writer. It's written beautifully. The books talks about what the absence of robust governance institutions do to a country in a positive way. I would have found the idea bizarre before reading the book. But the books presents a reader some really good case studies. Also, the book I feel gives all the reasons to a growing country like India to built healthy institutions to run the country effectively. After all how long can India grow at night? ...more
NEEL Singathia
May 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
I don't even know what to say about this book. It was my first book from Gurcharan Das ji. But It was so bland. Don't know what is writer want to prove or not. Neither this book look like it make a strong case about Capitalism nor it is a good philosophical book about Dharma.

Very fast read but nothing interesting in this book.

I advise people should stay away from this book and save their time.
Jul 30, 2019 added it
A strong democracy and the role of civil protests to bring changes in the rule of law of the country. The impact of long standing corruption on the people and how they stood behind Anna Hazare in their protest against the corrupt government. The connection of 'dharma' on Indian constitution and how founding fathers formed a robust constitution for India ...more
Sachin Upadhyay
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This books gave me a thorough insight about the difficulties India faces towards becoming a superpower must read this perfectly written book, with immense insights about the government in India and other countries. This was my first book related to Indian context and first by Gurcharan Das.
It is my first review as I couldn't stop myself writing a review of this book ❤️
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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

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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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