Sunday, June 22, 2008
Two articles in today's New York Times remind us once again of the economic and social divide defining India. A front page story, In Fertile India, Growth Outstrips Agriculture, reports on the steep drop-off in agricultural production in the wake of the so-called "Green Revolution," a movement critiqued by Vandana Shiva in India Divided (alas, she isn't mentioned in the Times article). The second story, 36 Hours in Mumbai, appears in the travel section. Here you can read about a "populous metropolis . . . bursting with stock-market money, a shimmering art scene" that "has a growing global presence, and young people . . . exploiting their newfound freedoms in dim bars until the wee hours. Indeed, in the city’s more rarefied circles, Champagne is sipped every night and everyone knows everyone, darling." But don't worry, the article features a "Reality Check" tour of the city's slum in case you start feeling guilty about how much you're enjoying Mumbai's bling. I know. How cynical can you get?