Monday, November 10, 2008

Learning about India

I have too much time on my hands. I have become obsessed with India. Not just surrogacy in India, or Mumbai, but India as a whole. India the country, its people, its culture. India as a poltical entity, the world's fastest emerging global power. So few people realise what a powerful world force India is soon to become. Sure, the West has only just caught onto the fact that China has opened up to global trade and is buying Australian natural resources at an alarming rate. Hey - why else do we have the money to afford surrogacy? My husband is a gas and oil engineer in Western Australia. He rapes, pillages and plunders the earth for profit. We are riding the wave of the resources boom. Our paymaster is China.

Back to India.

Australia's unwashed masses think of India as being full of beggars and slums, outdoor laundries, Indian nationals walking around missing a kidney or some other body part they sold for money to feed their family. Those with a little education know that India is the home of yoga, is aware of India's cheap workforce and the West's penchant for outsourcing to India to save a buck at the expense of local employment, maybe they even watch The Kumars at No. 42. Those with a spiritual bent may follow one or another of the ubiquitous Indian guru, and perhaps have gained spiritual enlightenment at an ashram in Australia or India. Most Australians have encountered a saffron-robed Hare Krishna or ten, joyfully weaving their way down city streets banging their kohl, and handing out copies of Bhagavad Gita. Many a randy teenager has surreptitiously rifled through a secreted copy of the Karma Sutra. (For online instructions and animated versions of various positions go to ... LMAO ... I dare you.)

But how many know that India is one of the top five economies emerging into the global market? In Australia our independent broadcaster SBS offers it viewers a veritable smorgasbord of local and international news, even half-hour slots from the newsroom of countries such as Indonesia, China, Greece, Spain, Russia ... even Poland. But do we get news from India? Sadly no. It wouldn't benefit me anyway, SBS does not provide English subtitles for world news broadcasts.

This is what I missed today. I only caught the final five minutes. (Shouldn't have been on the internet all day). I am so pissed! If anyone knows where I can get a copy of this show can they please tell me.

Cutting Edge: The Indian Miracle.

Well known UK journalist, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, reveals the dark side of modern India: discrimination against Muslims; a rise in Hindu nationalism; farmers driven to suicide by debt; and a caste system which prevents those at the bottom from securing any but the most menial and humiliating jobs. As the gap between rich and poor turns to a chasm, Guru-Murthy questions the social stability of a country that will soon enter the top five of the economic giants. This is a program that delivers the answer to a question we should all be asking ourselves - what is the real cost of an economic boom? (From the UK, in English and Hindu, English subtitles) (Documentary) (Rpt) PG CC

This is my night-time viewing selection for Wednesday.

Cooking in the danger zone: India

Stefan Gates travels to one of the poorest and most corrupt areas of India, Bihar, where the rural Dalits are locked in a system of poverty and disadvantage. There he engages with one of the lowest sub-sections of the Dalits, the Musahars, roughly translated as "rat eaters". These desperately poor peasants work the land for landlords, in return for a small portion of rice. To supplement their diet, they catch rats. For eradicating the rodents, the landowners allow them to keep the rats for eating. It's a gruesome perk, but with little other protein available, the rats are a great treat. Stefan joins the locals when they prepare a meal of rat. He also learns how to make dung cakes - the main source of fuel for cooking. He then takes a 27-hour train trip to Mumbai where he meets a group of dabbawallas, or lunch deliverers - integral to Mumbai's culture. Stefan accompanies Ballaral, one of the few Dalits who have managed to become a dabbawalla, on his lunch-round. (From the UK, in English)

If you are still reading and desire more knowledge I point you to this article about Indian and the election of Barack Obama. .. C'mon Steve from Florida ... you know you want to.


Hari G R said...

I am surprised you know so much about India. gee.. Why don't you just shift here ..!!??

jojo said...

I know...because Perth is such a happening place. Am I right, Am?


Amani said...

Perth is goin' on! Can't believe there's no Sunday trading and one can't buy groceries past 5.30pm. Perth is Brisbane 20 years ago.

butlerlife said...

Read the Forbes article...quite interesting. Will forward to Steve for his viewing pleasure.


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