A collage of contradictions, a patchwork of cultures, castes, languages, religions and morals, India is like a huge department store boasting a dizzying array of products -- turn in any direction and the view changes.
Azim Premji has pledged US $2 billion for the improvement of Indian education. By far the largest charitable donation in the country's history, it will no doubt spur further philanthropy and accelerate the pace of education reform.
You might wonder what is so different about serving food in a restaurant in the U.S. versus a restaurant in India. Not much, probably. So, why does a waiter in Los Angeles earn more than a waiter in Mumbai?
Pitched battles are being fought across the country by poor farmers, who fear further marginalization when their land is literally grabbed by the government and the industry. From Mangalore in Karnataka to Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, from Singur in West Bengal to Mansa in Punjab, the rural countryside is literally on a boil.
“Incredible India.” For tourism purposes, that slogan has served India well, but it is insufficient to convey the identity of a rising world power. In many respects, this exotic, chaotic country remains geopolitically undefined.
Though India’s claim to great power glory was professed much before the country achieved independence in 1947, the current phase reflects India’s willingness to work towards that goal rather than make a fortuitous claim to it.
How things have changed since the 1960s! India is now materialistically prospering and spiritually confused. On the other hand, in the U.S. the realization has come about that material excesses do not give meaning to our lives and are an unreliable source of happiness.
India's vast coastal border poses serious security issues and challenges. After the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11, the entire coastal security scenario of the country has been thoroughly reviewed by the Government at various levels.
The idea of Mubarak's thugs riding into the Cairo demonstrations on camels and brandishing whips against peaceful protesters should be one of the indelible images of 2011. The old world trying in vain to contain what is happening under their feet.