Something draws me to stories of the immigrant experience, which often include insightful observations from the vantage point of a newcomer, and sometimes conflicts when children adopt the values of the new country to the dismay of their parents. One of my favorite books in this vein is a collection of short stories called “The Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri, about immigrants from India living in the U.S. “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai is a great novel that takes place both in New York City and India. In addition, I enjoyed the 1991 film “Mississippi Masala,” directed by Mira Nair, about an Indian family forced to leave Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin. While most of the story takes place in Mississippi, there are many evocative flashbacks to the family’s time in Uganda. Another great movie from 2002 is “Bend it Like Beckham” directed by Gurinder Chadha, about a young British woman of Indian heritage who comes into conflict with her parents over her love of soccer. Aside from being a great story, this movie has a fabulous sound track.
Drawn to the subject of India, I was intrigued by the the 9/12/13 edition of OnPoint, hosted by Tom Ashbrook, entitled: “Modern India: Big Growth, Big Problems.” Tom has a long conversation with Anand Giridharadas, columnist for The New York Times and author of “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking.” Mr. Giridharadas makes many interesting points, and contends that the media places too much emphasis on the Indian economy, and calls for a different narrative beyond India’s growth rate. He goes on to elaborate on social aspects of Indian society, and puts them in historic and international context.
Tom’s other guest is Arvind Subramanian, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and at the Center for Global Development and author of ”Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance.” Mr. Subramanian cites positive developments in some Indian states as hopeful signs for the nation’s future.
Visit this URL to listen to this program, or download a podcast to listen to at your convenience: