In conversation: India

Sunday 20 October, 9.30am until 10.15am, Pit Theatre Wrestling with the World

For two decades India has been talked up as an emerging economic giant along with China. But while developments over that time have been impressive, are they sustainable and are they helping all Indians? With an election approaching next year, the ruling Congress party is under pressure to show that it can both stimulate further growth and ensure the benefits are made available to the millions of rural poor, while the opposition BJP’s presumed prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is both feted as a model of progressive governance as Chief Minister of Gujarat, and blighted by his association with the 2002 massacre of thousands of Muslims in the state. Is India’s democracy - mired in ‘vote bank’ politics, but at least engaging the masses in state and national government in contrast to China - a help or a hindrance in driving development? And does the fallout from last year’s Delhi rape case indicate that deeper cultural problems have yet to be overcome? How different might India look after a century of independence?

Dr Manali Desai
lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge; author, State Formation and Radical Democracy in India, 1860-1990

Professor Deepak Lal
James S. Coleman Professor of International Development Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; author of Reviving the Invisible Hand, In Praise of Empires and The Hindu Equilibrium : India c1500 B. C. -2000 A.D

Salil Tripathi
journalist; author, Offence: the Hindu case

Dolan Cummings
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)

Produced by
Dolan Cummings associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)
Recommended readings
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Guardian, 5 August 2013

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Nida Najar, Chronicle, 22 April 2013

India’s Rape Epidemic Reflects a Deeper, Darker Problem

India is defined by misogyny. Hatred of women is woven so tightly into the fabric of Indian society, according to writer Pubali R. Chaudhuri, that any Indian who denies it is lying.

Piper Hoffman, Care 2 Make A Difference, 7 January 2013

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Gujarat's growth story is an expression of the chief minister's authoritarian power

Dinesh Narayanan, Forbes India, 24 September 2012

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Pankaj Mishra, Guardian, 14 March 2012

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