Digital Republic | Comments

Mathai Joseph“I have no hesitation in saying that this is one of the best books of this genre I have read.” N.R. Narayana Murthy (Chairman, Infosys)“A fascinating account of the development of computing in India, and India’s achievement in the export market for software. It is written by a leading participant, and will appeal to the widest readership.” Tony Hoare (Microsoft Research Cambridge)

“The book is autobiographical while covering the development of the software industry elegantly. Mathai Joseph’s memory for detail is quite amazing.”
R Gopalakrishnan (Director, Tata Sons)

“When we shared a house in Cambridge, UK, I didn’t suspect that Mathai Joseph, friend and senior student, was and would be one of the pioneers of the IT revolution that has overtaken India. Here is his modest and novelistic account of how he went about it.” Farrukh Dhondy (writer, playwright)

“Digital Republic is required reading for anyone trying to understand the development of digital computing in India from its shaky beginnings in 1955. Not only has its author worked at several key institutions—including Cambridge University in the UK during the 1960s, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai and Tata Consultancy Services in Pune (where he retired in 2007 as head of research)—he also writes with directness, candour and variety, telling pointed and often amusing anecdotes about research and life in India, the UK and the USA from the 1950s until now. “ Andrew Robinson (writer, historian)

“This book vividly captures computing in the 1960s and 1970s and also Mathai Joseph’s work and challenges. It kept me fully absorbed.” S. Mahalingam (former CFO, Tata Consultancy Services)

“It’s a prodigious feat of memory, both enjoyable and informative. It brought back so many details I’d forgotten and told me so many things I didn’t know.” Adil Jussawalla (writer, poet)

“I loved the youth, growing up, family and education histories: basically the story of becoming a computer scientist in a third world country. I really did get an appreciation for how the history and tradition of India made possible this unprecendented leap to world prominence in advanced technology.
The book is written with flair and ease. The author has a talent for writing: not only about IT but about any subject.” Jan Vytopil (computer scientist, CEO S.I.S bv)

>>> Amazon Kindle e-book:  ISBN 978-93-82792-57-4

>>> Print edition (softback Rs.299) in India from,

>>> Foreign orders ($6) plus shipping from Power Publishers; also Uread


“The book not only traces Mathai Joseph’s personal journey as a computer scientist but it also chronicles the story of a nation which was controlling the acquisition of computers as if their arrival signalled a danger.”  Author interview in Pune’s Sakaal Times (29 September 2013):

“Digital Republic — India’s rise to IT power, is a memoir for our times. Starting with the early 1960s, Bombay provides a colourful backdrop to his college-years, the beginnings of an enduring love for literature, theatre and music, and to his long stint with TIFR.“ Book review in Hindu Business Line (R Dinakar, 27 September 2013):

Author interview with Stephen Ibaraki (July 2013): 

Eunice de Souza in Mumbai Mirror (16 May 2013): I was intrigued by one of the sub-titles of Mathai Joseph’s “Digital Republic: India’s rise to IT Power,” which described the book as a combination of “History and Memoir.” They are rather different genres, one personal and anecdotal, and the other relatively factual.However, if you are Mathai Joseph who studied at Bombay, Cardiff and Cambridge, and was one of the first computer scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, it makes sense …

 Rishikesha T Krishnan: MJ is a good raconteur and I can see that his interest in poetry and literature right from his college days have had a positive impact on his ability to tell a good story.


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