Instead, all their conversation was focused firmly on the future, and the reception India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, had just received on his trip to America. One of the guards proudly showed me the headlines in the local edition of the Times of India, announcing that Allahabad had been among the subjects discussed in the White House by Modi and President Obama. The sentries were optimistic. India was finally coming back into its own, they said, “after 800 years of slavery”. The Mughals, the EIC and the Raj had all receded into memory and Allahabad was now going to be part of India’s resurrection. “Soon we will be a great country,” said one of the sentries, “and our Allahabad also will be a great city.”
In the course of this enquiry I found that much more had been done than I had been aware of, when I first published the Essay. The poverty and misery arising from a too rapid increase of population had been distinctly seen, and the most violent remedies proposed, so long ago as the times of Plato and Aristotle. And of late years the subject has been treated in such a manner by some of the French Economists; occasionally by Montesquieu, and, among our own writers, by Dr. Franklin, Sir James Stewart, Mr. Arthur Young, and Mr. Townsend, as to create a natural surprise that it had not excited more of the public attention.
Policy Review and the Hoover Institution were well matched. They shared a commitment to free and rigorous inquiry into the American condition, into the workings of government and of our political and economic systems and those of others, and into the role of the United States in the world. They both brought together scholars with an interest in current affairs and journalists interested in exploring our world in greater depth. They both take up topics not as exercises in theory, but for the purpose of better understanding the world and the betterment of people's lives. They both are committed to civil discourse, the airing of reasoned disagreement, and a vigorous and open debate. They both are diligently independent, not least in affirming and guarding the independence of those associated with them in the community of informed discussion.