I am stillreading Planet India. For those of you who looking for a decent take on India it is entertaining. The author is a typical far leftist with the usual hang ups about Monsanto, Walmart and some others. The situation with Coca Cola in India is treated in a better light. However the author does not explain the mindless anti-Americanism of some of Coca Cola's critics. The charge that Coca Cola is selling product with traces of pesticides in India has some validity as nearly all of Indian water in the region the plant is located in has agricultural runnoff. Coca Cola has sent the product to be tested independently and the product meets EU safety standards. The fact that Coca Cola employs people in a region that needs jobs is immaterial to the critics.
One of the things that one reads is that many Indian corporate types have the formula for sucsess right product product and product. The author interviews a local Tea eutrepeuer and he is commited to having the best product available. The author interviews a school reformer and again the answer is product or in the case of schools results.
India does have many factors to overcome. Many of the immigrants we see are the achievers. India does have some of the best schools on the planet. It also has slums where many are illiterate. I have to independently verify the claim that thousands of Indian farmers have commited suicide. This may be a case where the far left is making absurd claims like the infamous surge of women being beaten after the Super Bowl. However the scale of numbers in India is 4x that of the USA. Plus many farmers work farms on as little as one acre meaning there are alot more than in the USA.
India does have its share of problems with water, terrible roads and grinding poverty. I also have to research the books claims about pogroms against Muslims organized by local government particularly in the Gujarati province.
The book contains a wealth of information that is interesting, entertaining and amusing. However, the book does seem to have recurent theemes of evil US corporations and saintly Indian counterparts, it is also not sympathetic to Hindus.
The book does mention the Hindu claim that Muslims built a shrine on the alleged birth place of the God Rama and the Hindus tore it down setting off riots. The author fails to mention the historic crimes against Hindus including whole sale genocide as mentioned by Trifkovic and others. I have yet to see the numerous Christians of India mentioned at all in the first 200 pages.
It is an important book to read but one should keep in mind the authors hard left world view. The author has spent around thirty pages on the evils of Monsanto, Wallmart and Hindu extreemism. The author has not delved into Communist and Muslim terror. The author has spent large portions of the book on political corruption. The author does seem to forget the Nehru machine ran the country for decades. If there is endemic local coruption in government to what extent is the Nehru cronyism a factor.
It is interesting reading but my word of advice is caveat emptor.
Beamish in 08