Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ghosh, Singh, D'Souza and Visweswaran

Radio Open Source interviewed Amitav Ghosh, with Amardeep Singh, Dilip D'Souza and Kamala Visweswaran as guests. Amardeep and Dilip have fascinating -- and thankfully, extended -- blog entries on what they said, and on what they wished they had said.


In response to the question "What is the message from India," I said that there is no one message. India is way too complicated for that to even be a very productive question. It depends where you look, how you look, and who you talk to. I wish I would have had time to say a bit more...
... I think it's a mistake to only dwell on the negative. (The tenor of last night's conversation drifted in that direction.) I tried to offer some slightly more upbeat comments... here's what I should have said:

There is a new confidence, a new passion for entrepreneurialism in many different fields. Obviously the best known of these is the high tech industry -– computers, software, the internet. But you also see it happening in fields such as medicine, biotechnology, even space exploration. And of course you see it in literature, with a new crop of writers that is doing pretty amazing work writing in India itself.


Ghosh made one point that I felt I had to respond to. In speaking of rural India, he said he was sorry that there was really only one Indian journalist who writes about that India: P Sainath. Yes, there is Sainath. But there are others as well, some of us inspired by Sainath which is itself a tribute to him. I should have mentioned, but I foolishly did not, such intrepid journalists as Dionne Bunsha, Annie Zaidi, Lyla Bavadam, Meena Menon, Rupa Chinai ... hmm, isn't it odd that these first five names off the top of my head are all women, and they are all with the Hindu family of publications?