India Becoming By Akash Kapur

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Disha, Kanika and Ayesha’s presentation on “India Becoming” by Akash Kapur was a thorough review of the book. They covered many themes including change, development, modernity, the culture of violence and by doing so got at the heart of the book, which showed that “India [can] often feel like two nations.” The group discussed some of the negative effects of development in India, one major one being pollution. According to Kapur, seventy percent of India’s surface water is polluted and half a million deaths a year were attributed to air pollution. This was discussed in contrast to the positive effects of development that have seen the erosion of the caste system and allowed women and people of lower castes upward social mobility. The group was able to highlight some of the effects of development on the people of India. However, many of their arguments were oversimplified and did not account for the conditions of the majority of Indians. In addition, many of their arguments lacked conviction because they were not backed by statistics or references from outside sources that could have corroborated the fieldwork done by Kapur. As such, this review will highlight some issues excluded by the presenters and argue that though India has developed, it has been at the cost of ignoring the agrarian sector and a massive rise in starvation and poverty. When talking about India, one often hears of how fast it is growing, how it is amongst the largest economies in the world and is often

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