Watch ‘India at a Crossroads,’ a GPS special, this Sunday at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN
The United States walked into a skirmish this past week. Not with China, not with Iran…but with India.
Why are Indians so angry at America? Well, they say that the United States mistreated an Indian consular worker, who was arrested for allegedly falsifying a visa application for her live-in maid, and for paying that maid less than a third of the U.S. minimum wage.
The facts of the case continue to emerge. But the incident highlights that for all their similarities – big democracies, Asian partners – India and America are very different societies.
Despite its impressive growth, India remains quite poor. Even if the consular worker’s maid was being paid only $300 a month, she was still making two-and-a-half times the national average. Second, India has a recent history of diplomats being involved with visa fraud. This shouldn't be surprising, unfortunately. India ranks 94th in the world for transparency. You encounter corruption every day in India.
And lastly, why are Indian politicians feeding all this outrage? Well, Indian politicians have always been masters of self-righteous indignation. But also, they're up for elections next year. With some 700 million eligible voters, this will be the greatest exercise in democracy the world has ever seen.
All those topics are part of a GPS special report on India. It’s called “India at a Crossroads.” The program airs this Sunday in our regular timeslot. You can watch the video for a small preview about how Indians are trying to tackle some of their worst social ills…but in a decidedly modern way that maybe owes something to Oprah Winfrey.
You'll have to watch the full hour to get a sense of how India is dealing with all its problems. But if you want to understand where this huge, chaotic country is headed, this is must-see television.