In India today, the rapes of women, from children to grandmothers, are daily news. Frothy television programs on sentimentalized family values are interrupted by advertisements for a new smartphone app: VithU, which allows women in danger, at a double press of a power button, to send an S O S alert with their location to predesignated friends and family members.
Universities are debating requiring students to abandon jeans and adopt formal dress codes, as though the trappings of civilization are needed to hold at bay the anarchy of sexual violence. Twelve-year-old schoolgirls are attending rape awareness seminars, in a death of innocence.… Seguir leyendo »
Casste is not a word that modernizing India likes to use. It has receded to the unfashionable background. Newspapers reserve their headlines for the newer metrics of social hierarchy: wealth and politics, and those powerful influencers of popular culture, actors and cricket stars.
There are two stories we tell ourselves in urban India. One is about how education transforms lives. It is the golden key to the future, allowing people to rise above the circumstances of their birth and background. And sometimes, it does. In my own neighborhood, a few sons and daughters of cooks and gardeners are earning their engineering and business degrees, and sweeping their families into the middle class.… Seguir leyendo »