||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
October 3, 1943 |
Lyallpur, Punjab, Indian empire/British Raj
|Occupation||Author, Commentator, Public Intellectual.|
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 published in many languages and filmed by BBC.
He is a regular columnist for six Indian newspapers in English, Hindi, Telugu and Marathi, and he writes periodic pieces for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Newsweek.
Gurcharan Das graduated with honors from Harvard University in Philosophy. He later attended Harvard Business School (AMP), where he is featured in three case studies. He was CEO of Procter & Gamble India and later Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (Strategic Planning). In 1995, he took early retirement to become a full-time writer.
His other literary works include a novel, A Fine Family, a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and anthology, Three English Plays.
Gurcharan Das was born in Lyallpur, India (now Pakistan) into a Punjabi Hindu family. His mildly autobiographical novel, A Fine Family, sheds light on his early life. After Independence, Das's family fled to India as refugees. His father was an engineer with the government and he spent his childhood in Shimla and Delhi. When staying in Delhi he studied in Modern School, he also went to a high school in Washington D.C. when his father was posted there in the mid-1950s. He attended Harvard University and graduated with honors in Philosophy. He wrote his thesis under John Rawls. Later he attended Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, where he is featured in three case studies.
Gurcharan Das was the CEO of Procter & Gamble India and Vice President for Procter & Gamble Far East between 1985 and 1992. He was later Vice President and Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide, responsible for global strategic planning. Prior to P&G, he was Chairman and Managing Director of Richardson Hindustan Limited from 1981 to 1985, the company where he started as a trainee.
At the end of 1994, after a 30-year career in six countries, he took early retirement to become a full-time writer.
He began to write a regular column on Sundays for The Times of India and continued to do so for 15 years. Gradually, he added Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat Khabar, Eenadu, Sakal, and Mathrubhumi. He also wrote occasional guest columns for Time and Newsweek magazines and occasional pieces for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs .
Gurcharan Das has recently published a new book, India Grows at Night: A liberal case for a strong state (Penguin 2012). He is also general editor for a 15 volume series, The Story of Indian Business (Penguin) of which three volumes have already appeared.
He is now mainly known for his two best-selling books, India Unbound and The Difficulty of Being Good. India Unbound, is a narrative account of India from Independence to the global information age, and has been published in over a dozen languages and filmed by BBC. The Difficulty of Being Good: On the subtle art of dharma (Penguin 2009) examines contemporary moral failures through the lens of the millennia year old epic, the Mahabharata.
India Unbound is mainly about the transformation of India from birth of the writer in (1942) to (1999). The author majorly speaks about the Indian politics and the economy of India. He categorizes the complete timeline from 1942 to 1999 in three major sections: 'Spring of Hope (1942–65)', 'the Lost Generation (1966–91)' & 'Rebirth of Dream (1991–99)' and tell various stories(memoirs) and the historical facts of that time.
Gurcharan Das began to write soon after college. He wrote three plays in his twenties, which have been published as an anthology, Three English Plays (Oxford University Press, 2003). It consists of Larins Sahib, a prize-winning play about Sir Henry Lawrence and the British in India, which has been presented by Akademeia Repertory Theatre (ART) and its producer and artistic-director Rumi Palsetia, as the first-ever Indian theatre production in English, in the then 40-year history of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in 1991; Mira, which was produced off-Broadway to critical acclaim from New York critics; and 9 Jakhoo Hill which has been performed in major Indian cities.
He wrote a novel in his thirties, A Fine Family, which follows the stories of several generations of a Punjabi family beginning with the Partition.
The Elephant Paradigm is a book of essays which ranges over subjects as varied as panchayati raj, national competitiveness, and the sacred and philosophical concerns of the average Indian consequent to India’s entry into what the author calls the ‘age of liberation’. While India may never roar like the Asian tigers, Das argues, it will advance like a wise elephant, moving steadily and surely, pausing occasionally to reflect on its past and to enjoy the journey.
- Prasad, Amar Nath; Rukhaiyar, U. S. (2003-01-01). Studies in Indian English fiction and poetry. Sarup & Sons. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-81-7625-368-0. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- CampusEra (Jan 09, 2012). "3rd K.Mahipathi Rao Memorial Lecture by Gurcharan Das". CampusEra. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- Das, Gurcharan (2009). The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-19-975441-0.
Articles by Gurcharan Das:
- The Dilemma of a Liberal Hindu
- The India Model
- Local Memoirs of a Global Manager Harvard Business Review March 1993