Shashi Tharoor discusses The Elephant, The Tiger, and the Cell Phone: India, the Emerging 21st Century Power.
Asia Society and the South Asia Journalists Association (SAJA) host the New York launch of Tharoor's new book. Tharoor shares his insight into the complex and intriguing culture of this rapidly evolving nation. The event includes excerpts from the book and a conversation with Pramit Pal Chaudri, a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at Asia Society.
Over the past twenty-five years, India has moved from a largely impoverished, underdeveloped country to a bustling, innovative, fast-changing society. In his new book "The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: India, the Emerging 21st-Century Power", celebrated author Shashi Tharoor discusses and demystifies the vast changes that have taken place in India to transform this once sleeping giant into an emerging world leader- Asia Society
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri is the Foreign Editor of The Hindustan Times and a leading figure in Indian policymaking circles. He was previously an editorial writer for The Telegraph and The Statesman of Calcutta.
Pramit has a BA in history from Cornell University. More recently, he was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland - College Park; media fellow at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy; South Asia fellow at the Henry Stimson Centre in Washington DC, and a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University's South Asia department. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Liberty Institute of New Delhi and the Aspen Institute Italia.
Pramit has written widely on India's foreign and international economic policies. He is a regular talking head on Asian television and radio stations. This year he has spoken at the Aspen Institute World Economy Conference, the Centre of Independent Studies annual consilium in Australia and at Singapore's Institute for Southeast Asian Studies.
Jamie Metzl is Executive Vice President of Asia Society. He is responsible for overseeing the institution's strategic directions and overall program activities globally.
An expert on Southeast Asian history and politics, Dr. Metzl has extensive government experience including service in the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. Senate.
Shashi Tharoor is an elected member of the Indian Parliament and former minister of state for external affairs. In 2007, he concluded a nearly 29-year career at the United Nations, including his role as undersecretary-general for communications and public information. In 2006, he was India's candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary-General and emerged a strong second out of seven contenders.
Tharoor is the prize-winning author of twelve books, both fiction and nonfiction, including the classic The Great Indian Novel; India: From Midnight to the Millennium; Nehru: The Invention of India; and The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone: Reflections on India in the 21st Century. A widely published critic, commentator, and columnist in publications including The Hindu, The Times of India, and Newsweek. He has won India's highest honor for overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, and numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize. He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.Country, South Asia. It fronts the Bay of Bengal on the southeast and the Arabian Sea on the southwest. Area: 1,222,559 sq mi (3,166,414 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 1,198,003,000. Capital: New Delhi. The peoples of India comprise widely varying mixtures of ethnic strains drawn from peoples settled in the subcontinent before the dawn of history or from invaders. Languages: Hindi, English (both official), and other Indo-European languages, including Bengali, Kashmiri, Marathi, and Urdu; Dravidian languages; hundreds from several other language families. Religions: Hinduism; also Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism. Currency: rupee. India has three major geographic regions: the Himalayas, along its northern border; the Indo-Gangetic Plain, formed by the alluvial deposits of three great river systems, including the Ganges (Ganga); and the southern region, noted for the Deccan plateau. Agricultural products include rice, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, coconut, spices, jute, tobacco, tea, coffee, and rubber. The manufacturing sector is highly diversified and includes both heavy and high-technology industries. India is a multiparty federal republic with two legislative houses; its head of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. India has been inhabited for thousands of years. Agriculture in India dates to the 7th millennium BCE, and an urban civilization, that of the Indus valley, was established by 2600 BCE. Buddhism and Jainism arose in the 6th century BCE in reaction to the caste-based society created by the Vedic religion and its successor, Hinduism. The first Muslim contact with the subcontinent was in the 8th century CE. Muslim invasions began after c. 1000, establishing the long-lived Delhi sultanate in 1206 and the Mughal dynasty in 1526. Vasco da Gama's voyage to India in 1498 initiated several centuries of commercial rivalry between the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French. British conquests in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the rule of the British East India Co., and direct administration by the British Empire began in 1858. After Mohandas K. Gandhi helped end British rule in 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first prime minister, and Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi, and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi retained that office for all but a few years during more than three succeeding decades. The subcontinent was partitioned into two countriesIndia, with a Hindu majority, and Pakistan, with a Muslim majorityin 1947. A later clash with Pakistan resulted in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. In the 1980s and '90s Sikhs sought to establish an independent state in Punjab, and ethnic and religious conflicts took place in other parts of the country as well. In 2004 Manmohan Singh, a Sikh, became the country's first non-Hindu prime minister. The Kashmir region in the northwest has been a source of constant tension.