You are here: Why India?
Smiling people welcoming you. Dignified even in poverty.
People desiring to have themselves photographed with you
Lack of violence
Very, very busy
Small time vendors hassling you at the popular tourist destinations
Mad, chaotic, eye popping driving of vehicles yet safe driving
Women in their colourful sarees
Men and women working very hard
Huge posters of ads and Bollywood movies
A crazy Indian wedding. Groom on the horse, his family dancing madly in front.
SMACK in your face. Poverty, tremendous riches, dirt, super clean - all together
Your road companions simultaneously can be - your car, cow, donkey, rickshaw, auto rickshaw, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, truck, cycle, people walking, snake charmers, beggars, children dancing or working in the middle of the road, monkey, bear, elephant, camel carts, horse cart, motorcycle with family of 4 on it.
Dust, Heat and intense cold. Brown and green landscape. Deserts. Towering mountains. Majestic rivers. Ancient jungles and forests.
Tigers, Lions, Rhino, Birds - lot's of wild life
Quiet villages, never sleeping cities
Water scarcity, power cuts
Spiritual, food, sadhus, mystics, gurus
The Indian Republic is now a mature 59-year-old. Whether it is a world power in the making or just a large subcontinental State with global power pretensions is a moot question. What is beyond dispute is that India, home to more than one-sixth of the human race, continues to punch far below its weight. Internationally, it is a rule-taker, not a rule-maker.
Among India's strengths is that it has a long, historical record of being a great power and of playing a mainstream, cooperative role in international relations. In 1820, at the advent of the Industrial Revolution, India and China alone made up nearly half of the world income. But by the time India emerged as a republic, its share of global GDP had shrunk to a mere 3.8 per cent.
Another one of India's strengths is that it symbolises unity in diversity. It is the most diverse country in the world. Indeed, it is more linguistically, ethnically and religiously diverse than the whole of Europe. India is where old traditions go hand-in-hand with post-modernity. More importantly, India has shown that unlike the traditionally homogeneous societies of East Asia, a nation can manage and thrive on diversity.
A third strength is that democracy remains India's greatest asset. India is the only real democracy in the vast contiguous arc from Jordan to Singapore. While the concepts of democratic freedoms and the rule of law are normally associated with the West, India can claim ancient traditions bestowing respect on such values. Basic freedoms for all formed the lynchpin of the rule of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC, who, as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has pointed out, did not exclude women and slaves as Aristotle did.