Conference, Notes

What is India’s Development?

Printed in the program note for the AID-India Conference, Chennai, 1999.

For many Indians, success is a path whose home stretch is the runway of the Mumbai, Chennai, or Delhi airport, and whose finish line leaves them with no connection to any community either in the land of their birth, growth, and education, or of their career and family.

The route from the rural to the urban to the university to the airport is one that is expanding faster than the Mumbai-Pune expressway and displacing many communities in its trail. Pursuing research, jobs, or marriage, people are beating a path out of India. Some people even select their area of study, work or spouse with the specific goal of leaving India.

Once abroad, the Indian may begin to think of India from a new perspective. Maybe it is the first time he or she has even reflected on India in so many words. All the while focussed on leaving India, she may think afresh about those who live there. Continue reading