India’s Journey: 70 Years of Independence

Date/Time
Date(s) - 02/13/18
5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

Location
Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Hosted by
Chicago Council


 

India’s Journey: 70 Years of Independence

Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations; Somini Sengupta, UN Bureau Chief and Foreign Correspondent, New York Times; Raghuram Rajan, Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Tunku Varadarajan, Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Moderated by Marshall Bouton, Senior Fellow for India, Asia Society.

 

Seventy years after independence, India is the world’s largest democracy, one of its most diverse societies, and the economy with growth potential that could rival China’s. Yet it also remains one of the poorest and unequal, with hundreds of millions mired in deep poverty and limited by a rigid caste system that constrains social mobility. The Narendra Modi-led government’s turn to Hindu nationalism has sharpened sectarian tensions and raised questions over the rule of law—and hasn’t helped relations with Pakistan either. With three decades left before its centennial, what must India do to become a decisive force on the world stage and convert its expected demographic dividend into broad prosperity?

Alyssa Ayres’ book, Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World, and Somini Sengupta’s book, The End of Karma: Hope and Fury among India’s Young, will be available for purchase and signing from the Book Cellar after the program.

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Alyssa Ayres

Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations

Alyssa Ayres is senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the author of the newly-released book about India’s rise on the world stage, Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World, published by Oxford University Press in January 2018. In 2015, she served as the project director for the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on US-India Relations. She is a foreign policy practitioner as well as a scholar, and prior to CFR served as US deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia from 2010 to 2013. Her book on nationalism in Pakistan, Speaking Like a State, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. She holds an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago, and an AB from Harvard College.

 

Marshall Bouton

 

Marshall Bouton

Senior Fellow for India, Asia Society

Marshall M. Bouton is senior fellow for India with the Asia Society Policy Institute and recently served as the institute’s interim executive director. He is president emeritus of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, having served as its president from 2001 to 2013. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Asia Society from 1990 to 2001. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Center’s board, which he chaired from 2004 to 2012. Bouton is the author of Agrarian Radicalism in South India and a coauthor, with Benjamin I. Page, of The Foreign Policy Disconnect: What Americans Want from Our Leaders but Don’t Get. Bouton’s previous positions included director for policy analysis for Near East, Africa and South Asia in the US Department of Defense, special assistant to the US ambassador to India, and executive secretary for the Indo-US subcommission on education and culture. Bouton holds an AB in history from Harvard College, an MA in South Asian studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.

 

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