India’s Burma Problem

  The carnage in Burma after the junta cracked down on widespread protests in September and October appears to be stirring unrest in India’s own remote northeastern states. Surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma and Bangladesh, the region is only tenuously connected to India itself and has long been beset by numerous insurgencies. Bangladesh juts…

India’s Asian Ambitions Face Risks at Home

With the political fate of Australian Prime Minister John Howard hanging by a thread, and the departure early last month of Shinzo Abe from Japan's political stage, the "conservative spring” in the Asia-Pacific political region is coming to an end. George Bush, Howard and Abe, the three leading spirits of that abortive revolution, can now…

Wedding Wows!

Namrata Kaur of Mumbai married her childhood sweetheart Vijay Kalra in September in a burst of bling and blazing lights. About a thousand guests participated in her five-day wedding extravaganza featuring elephants, horses, chariots, 26 types of cuisine rustled up by renowned chefs and performances by award-winning artists. "I’d always dreamt of a fairy-tale wedding,”…

India’s IT Sector Needs to Reboot

  After spectacular tenfold expansion over the last decade, India’s vaunted information technology juggernaut is slowing, a victim of rising wages, an appreciating rupee, slowing exports to the US and rising taxes from a government not only trying to mop up revenues from every source but one giving in to popular perceptions that the IT…

Viewing India’s Down and Out

Photo by Wen-Yan King There was a time not long ago when India was synonymous in the popular imagination of the west as a place of numbing poverty, streams of beggars and teeming slums. Now that the image is shifting to silicon-fueled growth, Bollywood glamour and call-center empires, tourists – and the 300 million-odd members…

India’s Louvre of Loos, its Tate of Toilets

You’ve heard of art and craft museums, textile museums, waxworks museums (Madame Tussaud’s), even those showcasing shoes (Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto). But India has its spectacular Sulabh International Museum of Toilets – the world’s only museum showcasing a repertoire of lavatory exhibits from 56 countries. It has been attracting amused visitors ever since it threw…

Married, with AIDS

Radhika, 26, and her boyfriend Mohan, 32, are excited about their October marriage in the Mumbai suburb of Thane. They have booked a banquet hall, invited 500 guests, lined up the best florist in town and a couturier to do their wedding ensembles. Everything is as it would be for any young couple getting married…

Rhinos at Risk in Indian Preserve (story and slideshow)

{smoothgallery} Two years ago, Kaziranga National Park in India’s strife-torn Assam State celebrated its centennial with what was praised as a colossal success story – preserving, against all odds, a highly endangered species – the great Indian one-horned rhino. But today the park, which shelters as much as 70 percent or more of the species,…

News of Her Own

Deep inside the cramped streets of the bustling Kamathipura district in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, an editorial meeting is in progress at the tiny office of a new magazine. The clatter of keyboards is audible as contents for the upcoming issue are finalized, page layouts planned and the past issue dissected. This could be any…

Indian Men Put on a Pretty Face

Tall, dark and handsome? Make that tall, fair and handsome in India. While savvy brand managers have always cashed in on Indian women’s obsession for lighter skin by peddling a raft of `fairness’ products, they have now zeroed in on a new cache of clients – Indian men. Didier Villanueva, country manager for L’Oreal India,…