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Thursday, February 7, 2013

At the book launch of Indianomix

Today's book launch of Indianomix (Random House) was held in what Mr. Gurcharan Das described as 'the most beautiful house in Delhi,' at 4, Aurangazeb Road. The authors Vivek Dehejia and Rupa Subramanya are both Indian Canadians and columnists who discussed the making of modern India, after  quickly dropping the bombshell that economists were neither apathetic nor always rational. That, behavioral economics was very much a part of what influenced their book. That although, they would not predict who the next PM would be, nor politically scrutinize why the war of 1962 was lost, their analyses would shed economic sense on modern India with all its baggage.   

Canadian High Commissioner introducing 'Interesting India'
The Canadian High Commissioner Mr. Stewart Beck introduced the floor, expressing that his own experience of India began with the fortunate words of good Indian writers like Gurcharan Das.  The lively Mr. Das began with his conclusion that the top purpose of any book was to entertain, and meeting that criteria, Indianomix was much loved by him, and full of interesting everyday vignettes, character sketches and scenarios that got turned a blind eye.  The authors felt their book was a global book, but written for people with some interest in India and Indians. Mr. Das on the other hand, admitted that his own books were written primarily for an Indian audience, and that other readerships were just a bonus. As a student of Mr. Henry Kissinger in his undergraduate years, Mr. Das often got asked as to why Nehru always incorporated morality in politics! Dreamers, repeated Das, should never be put in power for the same reason. Akin to Freakanomics style, the day's discussions skimmed through probability in every instance of modern Indian life, not alien to regular consumers of the news, and yes, although they all sat like a TV panel, they spoke "one at a time," insisted Mr. Das. A session that was wonderfully moderated, pulling together a lot of highly networked people under the same roof on a cool Delhi evening. 

The world has too many bad French lovers

In Rome Indians act Roman, and in India just inhuman

India did not have its version of the Good Samaritan law when the book was written

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