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Delhi Underbelly

Anu Anand | 07:40 UK time, Tuesday, 6 February 2007

guarddog.jpgHi Everyone-- we're all knackered after our late night broadcast from Chandigarh and early morning train to Delhi.

Here's Ros first:

We’ve just arrived at our hotel in Delhi after taking the (very early) train from Chandigarh. Of course there was plenty of chat about last night’s show but as we all averaged about 3 hours sleep, dozing was the priority. And once I’ve finished writing this I shall be going back for more.

I found last night’s show frantic and fascinating. Each call or text seemed to throw up more issues – and by the end education, governance, middle class guilt, fair wages, caste and national pride had all been addressed.

You always want passion on WHYS and we got that. Whether it was just too much of a free-for-all I’ll let you be the judge. There was one moment when about 15 people were shouting out when it felt we were on the edge of losing control (with memories of Soweto and Gage Park High School in Chicago). But fortunately a gentle reminder of the ‘no mic, no-one hears you’ rule seemed to do the trick.

Afterwards as you can probably have guessed the conversations continued and by far the most consistent point we were told was that the audience had loved hearing what others think of India.

So today at Delhi University we’ll try and work out whether outside perceptions match the reality of today’s India.

Now as I seem have caught the lurgy I’m off to bed to shiver but I’ll send this to Anu and let her respond. What did you make of the show Anu?

Anu again:
dhobi.jpgI didn't get a chance to take any pictures as we were furiously running around trying to get mics to everyone who wanted to talk! But the photo of Neelam's dog guarding our satellite phone above is my favourite so far and also captures the kind of India we were broadcasting from.

Lots of you have written to criticize us for choosing 'rich' Indian cities. Or not involving low-caste Indians. It's only Day 2, so I hope you'll let us know what you made of the whole week, but last night was representative of India's 300 million strong middle class, and it was a fascinating start.

I didn't expect to hear so much criticism of India, since for most of the people in Chandigarh last night- India IS rising.

DUstudent.jpgTonight, as you say Ros, we're at Delhi University. I've been there twice before to talk to students about how hard they have to work to compete for educational opportunities and jobs. India churns out something like 2 million science graduates each year and they're in high demand all over the world. Sheetal on the right here is just one of them. She does research on cancer treatments at the University's nano-technology lab.

So what does Sheetal's generation think of their country?

A recent BBC poll showed some interesting opinions: most young Indians are not concerned about global warming.

A new BBC poll on India shows most want it to be a political and military superpower. 47% agree that "corruption is a fact of life which we should accept as the price of doing business in today's world", although younger people are less tolerant of corruption.

And 50 percent felt that "people in India don't take their religion seriously enough", while 40% believed that "young people have lost touch with their heritage and traditions".


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