India Is Broken: A People Betrayed, Independence to Today

  • Starts4:00 pm on Tuesday, February 27, 2024
  • Ends6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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, February 27 from 4:00-6:00PM, join us for a hybrid event featuring Ashoka Mody, Visiting Professor in International Economic Policy at Princeton University.

This event is part of the Spring 2024 Global Economic Governance Book Talk series. It is co-sponsored by the Boston University Institute for Economic Development and the Boston University Department of Economics.

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


- Ashoka Mody, Visiting Professor, International Economic Policy, Princeton University

- Neva Goodwin (Moderator), Alumni Advisory Board Member, Boston University Global Development Policy Center; Distinguished Fellow, Boston University Economics in Context Initiative

Register to attend in-person:

Register to attend online:

Hybrid - Boston University Hillel, 213 Bay State Road, 2nd Floor Lounge, Boston, MA 02215

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