India is a vigorous democracy that has sent an orbiter to Mars. Yet its children are more likely to starve than children in far poorer nations in Africa.In a remarkable failure of democracy, India is the epicenter of global malnutrition: 39 percent of Indian children are stunted from poor nutrition, according to government figures (other estimates are higher). Stunting is worse in India than in Burkina Faso or Haiti, worse than in Bangladesh or North Korea.
Saint Nicholas: “LUCKNOW, India — FOR as long as anyone can remember, upper-caste men in a village here in northern India preyed on young girls. The rapes continued because there was no risk: The girls were destroyed, but the men faced no repercussions.
Now that may be changing in the area, partly because of the courage of one teenage girl who is fighting back. Indian law doesn’t permit naming rape victims, so she said to call her Bitiya — and she is a rapist’s nightmare. This isn’t one more tragedy of sexual victimization but rather a portrait of an indomitable teenager whose willingness to take on the system inspires us and helps protect other local girls.”
“The prime minister himself — and his background makes Mr. Clinton’s poor Arkansas childhood seem like Greenwich — is a case in point. He’s no fool; his instincts are superb; but his ignorance is startling. Speaking to the journalist Fareed Zakaria last year, before his United States visit, Mr. Modi chose to answer a question, through a translator, on Russia’s annexation of Crimea this way: “There’s a saying in India that the person who should throw a stone first is the person who has not committed any sins.”There is of course no such saying in India. The prime minister was unknowingly quoting the Bible — John 8:7 — to international audiences, and in the bargain giving President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a clean chit. It was hard to watch, hard not to ask the inevitable question: What else did a man who knew so little not know? And were his limitations not responsible for the most serious of the charges his government now stood accused of: the tinkering reforms, the ham-handed responses to dissent, the inability to control the fringe, the interference with education and, perhaps most damningly, of overlaying a still unchanged Indian reality with a lot of well-intentioned but empty talk?”
“MUMBAI — One of India’s best-known human rights activists, Teesta Setalvad, was brewing her morning tea on July 14 when she got a telephone call from her security guard.
“C.B.I. is at the gate, ma’am,” the guard said, referring to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the federal police.
Before long, 16 agents were searching her family’s compound on the shore of the Arabian Sea in Juhu, an upscale suburb of Mumbai. They searched all day, then all night, poring over Ms. Setalvad’s diaries, opening her jewelry boxes, digging through the linen closet. Not even the bedroom drawers of Ms. Setalvad’s daughter escaped scrutiny. The agents finally called it quits at sunrise, leaving with a haul of 3,179 documents.”