Farewell Nehruvian India: The Dawn of Narendra Modi Has Arrived

Sandip Roy

The ghost of Jawarharlal Nehru could well be an uninvited guest at the banquet marking the swearing in of Narendra Modi. Yesterday marked Modi's first official day as the 15th prime minister of India. It will also mark the 50th death anniversary of Jawarharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.The ghost of Nehru might be a little rueful. Had his great-grandson managed to lead the Congress to victory in the elections this month, yesterday might have seen a very different kind of commemoration of Nehru's death anniversary.

How Corruption Stymies Economic Growth and Sparks Unrest

Mark Goebel

Recent impressive growth notwithstanding, corruption also threatens to hold back India’s and Brazil’s drive to join the ranks of the world’s developed countries, and has brought Venezuela and Ukraine to the brink of political collapse. Even China, this century’s economic star, is being handicapped in its long-term quest to overtake the U.S. economically by corruption, so much so that China’s new supreme leader, President Xi Jinpang, has made stamping it out one of the main priorities of his time in office.


Workers’ Rights and the Khobragade/Richards Affair

Shamita Das Dasgupta

The media, politicians, and lay people in both India and the U.S. have focused on Khobragade and pontificated on the differences in lifestyle practices of the two countries, and various other legal and moral details. Sangeeta Richards, the nanny/domestic worker at the center of the storm, quickly became invisible in the melee. To my knowledge, she has surfaced only a few times in print media, mostly in articles written by social change activists. 

‘One Life to Ride’ Takes Readers on a Choppy Journey Through the Himalayas

Annie Castellani

Despite these expectations – or perhaps because of them – Harisinghani's narrative never really gets out of first gear. Instead of manufactured suspense about what lies around the bend, the reader longs for richer, more expansive stories that really get to the essence of the author’s relatable spiritual journey and the awesomeness of the scenery he encounters. Aside from a few literary and physical detours, this does not happen. 

‘I Have a Dream’: A Mighty Export

Sandip Roy

There is nothing in Dr. King's speech to imply that to be a hyphenated American is to have divided loyalties. When Jindal says American, the non-hyphenated version, he simply means Judaeo-Christian white - a whiteness that might not be visible in the color of the skin, but is definitely there in the content of the character. King's speech needs to be read again and again - not just commemorated or elocuted - to prevent it from being appropriated by the Jindals for their own ends. And not just in America.

India’s Proposed Right to Food Security Bill Won’t Solve the Country’s Crisis

Annie Castellani

Take the highly contested Food Security Bill, championed by Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling party and majority alliance in India’s parliament. The proposed landmark bill guarantees subsidized food to two-thirds of 1.2 the billion people who live in India, making it the largest experiment in food security worldwide. It obligates the Indian government to procure and distribute subsidized grains to approximately 800 million people, including 50 percent of urban-dwelling Indians and 75 percent of those living in rural areas. 

Children of Arranged Marriages Aim to Bridge Cultures

Monica Luhar

The study also highlighted the issue of immigrant parents who resisted interracial or religious relationships. “It’s not ok for me to marry outside of my religion—I have to marry a Muslim. My parents would prefer someone Arabic because the culture is the same,” a Yemeni female participant said. In conversations and a survey with young San Gabriel Valley residents with immigrant parents, I also heard many youth say that they were up against stiff parental restrictions on dating, uncomfortable conversations, and resistance to marrying outside of their racial or ethnic group.

Violence Against Women Continues to Escalate in India

Sandip Roy

The gang rape of the Swiss tourist in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh was front page news in newspapers across the country. The reverberations of the shocking story were felt well outside India’s borders. Even friends from as far away as California, emailed me the story. But while going through the newspaper, it was an inside page that shocked me even more. Under the headline of news about the Nation, there were eight stories. Six of them were about violence against women.

Faces of India: A Journey Through Photographs

John Torrente

My senses are overrun – a foraging pendulum grasping the air. Begging for answers. Who constructed the pieces of this puzzle? India. I’m a visitor in this enigmatic southern village; an Oceanside town smothered by coconut trees and heavy rainfall. Broken dirt roads lie flooded. Men wearing dhotis drift by. Women walk in small packs, in silence, their solemn majesty reined beneath an ornate sari. I haven’t slept. The undulating energy of this country has found its way into my soul. And I don’t want to miss a beat. 

A Slice of 'Pi' in India

Sandip Roy

The color and visual spendor of India tends to overwhelm any film that is set in India. And Life of Pi is no exception. Ang Lee pretty much admits as much to DNA when he says “the country overwhelms you, with the warmth, the culture and its beauty”. Even in the hands of a director as astute as him, India feels over saturated, wide-eyed and eye-popping, prone to fortune cookie maxim. It’s a striking contrast to the richly detailed but so much more atmospheric Shanghai he created for Lust, Caution. That felt epic and intimate at the same time. This India feels Amar Chitra Katha – bold colors without much shading.


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