India: Old Civilization in a New World
India and the United States have been moving closer together, but Americans know very little about the real India behind the mysticism and image of nonviolence. India dazzles, but it is also a country whose nuclear weapons and huge army unsettle the neighborhood, and a place where thousands of young brides are burned to death by their in-laws and millions of untouchables remain victims of a cruel social apartheid.
“Over half a century, since India gained independence in 1947, this vibrant nation that dominates the landscape between the Middle East and the Pacific has seen its dreams of becoming a global power repeatedly thwarted. The reasons were many, and explanations vary widely depending on the strong points of view that Indians hold about themselves or evoke in others outside the country’s borders. The twenty-first century could be very different. India stands poised to exert a major influence in world affairs, economically, strategically, politically and environmentally. What is less certain is whether the impact will be, on balance, a positive or a negative one….Events and trends in India, a vast nation of intense diversity with the inevitable volatility that that implies, could soon affect the entire world.”