Bad News From India Is Honest News

Pick up any American magazine these days and it contains at least one story about the “Indian Miracle.” There are stories about high tech centers in India and a growing middle class. Indian activist, Arundhati Roy, is furious at the western media for only reporting positive stories about her nation and ignoring continuing poverty, corruption and violence. According to Ms. Roy, “I have been told quite openly by several correspondents of international newspapers, they have instructions–no negative news from India-because it’s an investment destination.” She points out India has been grappling for years with a Maoist insurrection in which hundreds have been killed, including dozens of soldiers and policemen, but such stories don’t make the 6:00 o’clock news on TV. There are fewer stories about poverty or malnutrition in India although hundreds of millions are poor, and malnutrition is still an issue.

I doubt if such an injunction exists, certainly not in the age of the Internet. But, the real issue is how few stories are presented to the American public about the actual situation in India. Yes, there is a growing middle class, but hundreds of millions remain in poverty. Discrimination continues, and large amounts of money are spent on military equipment rather than on schools and providing jobs for the poor.