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India, Boardwalk Empire, Children's Hour, Stefan Collini

Rana Mitter debates whether the West understands the emerging power of India, reviews new HBO drama Boardwalk Empire, and asks do we take offence too easily?

Does the West understand India? A new book by historian Patrick French, India: A Portrait, argues that India today is more alien to the West than it has been for centuries. Even though one of David Cameron's first acts as Prime Minister was to visit the subcontinent, has the UK got India severely wrong and are we blinkered by our colonial past? Rana Mitter, Patrick French and Faisal Devji discuss India's transformation from socialist economy to capitalist powerhouse and explore how we should view the emerging superpower.

Boardwalk Empire is the latest high profile drama series from American cable network HBO. Set in the prohibition era, it follows the fortunes of a corrupt political figure in Atlantic City. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the drama recently triumphed at the Golden Globes. As it heads for British screens, Rana reviews Boardwalk Empire with Bonnie Greer.

Keira Knightley and Mad Men actress Elizabeth Moss are starring in a new production of Lillian Hellman's 1934 play The Children's Hour, a portrayal of two boarding school teachers accused of having a lesbian affair. Rana discusses the controversy which dogged Hellman's career, including her support for Stalin, and the scandal caused by The Children's Hour.

And do we take offence too easily? In his book That's Offensive! Criticism, Identity, Respect Professor Stefan Collini argues that it's becoming increasingly common to claim that the criticism of someone else's beliefs is offensive. But should our society be encouraging rather than stifling criticism?

Producer: Georgia Mann.

45 minutes


Free Thinking

Free Thinking

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