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The Age of Aspiration: Power, Wealth, and Conflict in Globalizing India

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GUEST: Dilip Hiro is a leading expert on South Asia and the Middle East, Hiro, has written more than 35 books and is a regular contributor to Tom Dispatch and Yale Global Online.

The Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy has become an expert at courting his fundamentalist and caste-ist Hindu base, while employing modern technology to create a cult of personality around himself. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an upcoming visit to the UK that is expected to dwarf his US visit at Madison Square Garden last year. Modi’s appearance at London’s Wembley Stadium could draw 60,000 supporters next month.

Mr. Modi is as paradoxical as his nation. India has entered into the globalized financial market of neo-liberal capitalism with gusto. Today, alongside gleaming malls and luxury cars that the new Indian elite enjoy, are seething slums filled with internal refugees displaced from their villages to work in the service industry, while middle class Indians work long hours in call centers answering tech questions from Western consumers.

Writing a new history of how India has come to where it is, is the acclaimed author Dilip Hiro.