The Ecstasy and Agony of India — From the Political to the Tribal

Date: Feb 2012

Currently checking out interesting NGOs empowering Muslim women in my home country. The world’s largest democracy remains a paradox. Take Lucknow, the capital of the largest state in the world, Uttar Pradesh, teaming with 200 million people. This state is part of the northern Indian swathe derisively referred to as the cowbelt, because of its economic backwardness. Given its population, Uttar Pradesh could be the fifth largest country in the world, but in India it is known for its social indicators — low rates of literacy and high rates of maternal and infant mortality.

Lucknow still boasts spectacular 15th century monuments, the legacy of aristocratic “Nawabs” — alongside scores of statues of its current and first-ever lower caste Chief Minister, the formidable Mayawati.