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The tragedy of India is that it was colonised for too long. And unlike China, it always looks to the West for a solution to its problems. Sonia Gandhi, whatever her qualities, is just an incarnation of that hangover, an empress of India in new clothes.

For you and the others liberals, ‘political right' is a demon that was born during and after the Godhra incident and the subsequent Gujarat riot. Nothing else. For you it as ideology that took shape during those horrendous days.

Not much was needed; just some phrasing such as, “President Mubarak has served his country well, and ensuring peaceful transition to new leadership would continue that service.”

I have been to Pakistan, many times since 1995, and I’m going there again for three weeks starting February 18. And I can’t help wondering what kinds of conversations I might have there in the wake or context of the Egyptian revolution.

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.

 

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