- India's economic growth has accelerated significantly over the past two decades and so, too, has the spending power of its citizens. ... [A] new Indian middle class has emerged. ... [I]f India continues on its current high growth path, over the next two decades ... income levels will almost triple. ... During the first millennium AD, merchants referred to India as the "Bird of Gold" due to the glittering dynamism of its market. Over the next two decades, that bird may take flight once again.
Now consider this short list of some other events in India over the last several weeks.
- Nandigram violence
- Baroda attack on a student artist, various fallouts
- Punjab violence over Dera Sacha Sauda; Sikh jathedar calls for head of sect to be killed
- Karunanidhi sons attack a newspaper office, leaving two (?) dead
- Arrests of civil rights activists
- Riots in small towns over erratic power supply
- Farmer suicides continue in Vidarbha, now also reported in cotton-growing areas of Gujarat
- Cops arrested for fake encounters
- Rajasthan (and spreading) violence over Gujjar demands to be categorised ST; full-blown caste war erupts between Meenas and Gujjars, plenty dead
When I read all this, I wonder: Are there two sides to India? Many sides? And if so, how will India live with them and resolve their varied contradictions and implications?