“When ordinary human beings err, it is sad, but when leaders do, it haunts us for generations,” wrote author Gurcharan Das in his celebrated book India Unbound.
Das, who turned 73 on Tuesday, was born at Lyallpur in India, which is now known as Faisalabad in Pakistan. Post partition, Das along with his family, came to India and thus became an asset for the nation.
His initial years of life shaped his thoughts well and after completing his schooling from Delhi and graduation from Harvard University, the literary scholar emerged in vivid colours.
On the 73rd birth anniversary of the renowned Indian author, we present you a list of his five soul-stirring books so far.
India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age
Originally published in 2000 by Penguin Books, Das’ international best-seller –India Unbound– is a narrative of India from independence to the global information age.
The book has been published in six languages across the globe and BBC filmed a narrative based on the storyline of the book.
Calling India ‘a vibrant free-market democracy’ that begun to explore global economy, Das traces the nation’s social and economical transformation post independence.
The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma
In his book ‘The Difficulty of Being Good’, Das analysed the Indian epic Mahabharata to decode the day-to-day challenges of life. The book was translated into Hindi and Tamil as well.
“The epic’s characters are flawed; they stumble. But their incoherent experiences throw light on our day to day emotions of envy, revenge, remorse, status anxiety, compassion, courage, duty and other moral qualities,” the author says in his book.
A Fine Family
Das’ mildly autobiographical novel, A Fine Family, sheds light on the early life of international best-selling author. Hailing from a Punjabi family, Das, a son of lawyer, inscribes the journey of a family that is forced to flee to India by the violence during the Partition.
Parallel in the story, different generation characters describe their definition of a fine family, which is struggling to regain the lost prominence. The book is available in Hindi as well.
India Grows at Night: A Liberal Case for a Strong State
Published in September 2012, ‘India Grows at Night’ talks about India’s indirect economical growth that, if canalised properly, can help the nation grow double to its current pace.
In the book, Das advocates India’s desperate need of a strong liberal state.
“Such a state would have the authority to take quick, decisive action; it would have the rule of law to ensure those actions are legitimate; and finally, it would be accountable to the people,” he says in his book.
The Elephant Paradigm: India Wrestles with Change
Again, striking the chord of change as necessity for growth, Das, in his book ‘The Elephant Paradigm’, talks about ‘age of liberation’.
Das urges the world’s ancient civilisation to reawaken to the spirit and potential of the youth, which is in majority in India.
According to the author, “While India may never roar ahead like the Asian tigers, it will advance like a wise elephant, moving steadily and surely, pausing occasionally to reflect on its past and to enjoy the journey.”