India Is Broken: A People Betrayed, Independence to Today

  • Starts4:00 pm on Tuesday, December 5, 2023
  • Ends6:00 pm on Tuesday, December 5, 2023

When Indian leaders first took control of their government in 1947, they proclaimed the ideals of national unity and secular democracy. Through the first half century of nation-building, leaders could point to uneven but measurable progress on key goals, and after the mid-1980s, dire poverty declined for a few decades, inspiring declarations of victory. But today, a vast majority of Indians live in a state of underemployment and are one crisis away from despair. Public goods—health, education, cities, air and water, and the judiciary—are lacking, and good jobs will also remain scarce as long as that is the case. Thus, India finds itself in a cycle of underemployment that undermines democracy which further undermines employment. India is Broken: A People Betrayed, Independence to Today by Ashoka Mody provides a robust account of this economic catch-22.

Challenging prevailing narratives, Mody contends that successive post-independence leaders, starting with its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, failed to confront India's true economic problems, seeking easy solutions instead. As a popular frustration grew, and corruption in politics became pervasive, India's economic growth relied increasingly on unregulated finance and environmentally destructive construction.

Combining statistical data with creative media, this book is a meditation on the interplay between democracy and economic progress, with lessons extending far beyond India.

On Tuesday, November 5 from 4:00-6:00PM, join us for a hybrid event featuring Ashoka Mody, Charles and Marie Robertson Visiting Professor in International Economic Policy at Princeton University.

This event is part of the Fall 2023 Global Economic Governance Book Talk series.

Light refreshments will be provided at a reception following the event.

Register to attend in-person:

Register to attend online:

Hybrid - Boston University Hillel, 213 Bay State Road, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02215

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