Business Writer: Gurcharan Das - The Difficulty of Being Good

What role do values play in our market-driven contemporary societies'How do we gauge moral failure in a commercial world' Are there different answers to these questions from one culture to another?

The global financial crisis has brought renewed attention to these perennial issues, and Asia Society brings its interdisciplinary perspective to bear in a series of programs entitled Markets and Morals.

As a foundational text of Hinduism, the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, is preoccupied with questions of right and wrong.??Does this ancient work remain relevant to how we approach moral issues in the 21st century' Central to the Mahabharata is the concept of dharma.??It is a term not easily translated, but encompasses notions of duty, goodness, justice, law and custom.??In addition, it refers to both moral and cosmic balance, the moral law that sustains society, the individual and the world.??In the worlds of business and politics, the epic dramatizes the choice between moral purity and human action.

In The Difficulty of Being Good, Gurcharan Das turns to one of the world's great works of moral philosophy and a cornerstone of the Indian mind to illuminate the ethical dilemmas that we all face. Please join Asia Society and Contributing Editor of Newsweek International Vibhuti Patel for a conversation with Das about why he believes that the Mahabharata is still applicable as a moral compass to the way we live our lives today.

Gurcharan Das is the author of the much-acclaimed India Unbound, which has been translated into many languages and filmed by the BBC. He writes a regular column for six Indian newspapers, including the Times of India, and occasionally for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs.??His other books include the novel A Fine Family and a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm.

Vibhuti Patel has been a long-time editor at Newsweek International and she now writes for The Wall Street Journal. She reviews books, and writes on the arts, culture, food and travel. For Newsweek International's popular back page, she has interviewed, among others, Nobel laureates Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus, entrepreneurs Anand Mahindra, Sunil Mittal and Naresh Goel, Al Jazeera CEO Wadah Khanfar, IT maven Nandan Nilekani, and most of India's post-Rushdie novelists. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, The Times of India, The Hindu, The Sunday Observer, India Today, and Outlook. Over the years, she has taught English literature at Bombay University, writing at The American University in Cairo, and Contemporary Indian Fiction at New York's New School University, the United Nations International School, and the Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar.

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Event Details

Thu 30 Sep 2010
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
725 Park Avenue, New York, NY
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$10 members, $12 students (w/ID) and seniors, $15 nonmembers
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