The BBC Documentary has a 5 part series on India Rising. In this program, “George Arney looks at the effects of globalisation and discovers what economic reforms have done to India and the way it sees itself.”
I have lived all my life in India except the last two years where I am in Adelaide, Australia. Every report from friends returning from India to Australia, my discussions with friends and family in India inform me that India is changing faster than before. I am waiting to visit India this year and see this change for myself. My mother tells me I will not be able to recognize Hyderabad; my home town; when I visit this year.
How much of this is beneficial is debatable and its distribution across the country is something to worried about.
This series provides a good look at what has happened in the past few years across India.
The first part is about the new India. It takes you through Gurgaon near New Delhi in Northern India, Bangalore and Mysore in Southern India and looking at the new malls, spending culture and the possible future of India.
The second part goes to the biggest dissapointment in India, the state of Bihar. The most moving part is about a women, Sukumari Devi, part of people who are called the “rat eaters”; people who actually eat rats; where she collected grains found in rat holes to feed her kids. And also, the second part on the education in Bihar.
The third part is about the effect of Television, Bollywood, and Music on India. The Family Soaps like “Kyu Ki…” are frankly comparable to the worst soap operas you can watch anywhere. In my work at Deeshaa, I learned an important aspect about TV. It is increasing the aspiration of Indians in the smaller cities and the rural parts. This feeling of aspiration is important however, if development does not come soon in these areas these aspirations can move in the wrong direction.
This part tries to understand the culture of India through the ‘idiot box’ and youth culture concentrating on what is called the “pan-India” culture.
Part Four is about understanding ‘oppression’ in the lives of everyday Indians. What is the impact of economic expansion of India on its environment, health of people from pollution, effect on jobs and rights of poor people & tribals. For more on this read the blog of my friend Shekar – Fractured Earth especially the India section.
Part Five is a discussion between people who have been guides to George Arney throughout the series.
Cross posted on WorldisGreen.com