Why I'm not speaking at Wharton

Rangilo Gujarati/Wikimedia Commons

Narendra Modi speaks during an election campaign in Gujarat, India on Dec. 7, 2012.

Article Highlights

  • Under normal circumstances, I would be looking forward to being on a panel at this year’s Wharton India Economic Forum

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  • The cancellation of the speech is more Wharton’s loss than Mr. Modi’s.

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Under normal circumstances, I would be looking forward to being on a panel at this year’s Wharton India Economic Forum on March 23. Instead, I’m withdrawing from the business school conference after the organizers’ failure to uphold its stated purpose: “to provide a neutral platform to encourage cross pollination of ideas” about India.

On Monday, citing “the impact on multiple stakeholders in our ecosystem,” the conference co-chairs abruptly canceled Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled keynote address via video conference on “the Gujarat model of development.”

This followed a petition started, predictably enough, by  professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s English department who were “outraged” by the student-run forum’s invitation to Mr. Modi.

This article is available by subscription to The Wall Street Journal.  The full text will be posted to AEI.org on Monday, March 11, 2013. 

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About the Author


  • Sadanand Dhume writes about South Asian political economy, foreign policy, business, and society, with a focus on India and Pakistan. He is also a South Asia columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He has worked as a foreign correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review in India and Indonesia and was a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. His political travelogue about the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia, My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with a Radical Islamist, has been published in four countries.

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