I have always wanted to visit India. The different lifestyle, culture, and geography of the area has intrigued me since I was in high school. I have not been lucky enough to interact with many people who have ventured over to the country, but my passion for visiting this area is simply based on experiencing a completely different area than I am accustomed to. My travels have taken me to many different areas in the Western hemisphere, but despite the many economic and social situations present in these locations, none of them have presented totally opposite ways of life. As a Seattle times article questions best, “Where else could you find yourself driving in a three-wheeled open-air taxi in four lanes of traffic clogged with cars, cows, camels, elephants, motorcycles and rickshaws; riding a camel into the desert; walking barefoot on the marble floors of the Taj Mahal; floating along tropical lagoons in a houseboat and hiking in the mountains, all in the same three-week trip?”
My interest in the Eastern Hemisphere first originated from learning about the Eastern Religions. I was taught that crowds of Indian Hindus would take to the streets, chanting their prayers loud enough for the entire city to hear. This intense devotion to religion manifested itself in little alcohol to drink and a thorough dedication to spirituality. The religious aspect of India also manifests itself in beautiful Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries, images that most of us have seen in National Geographic magazine covers.
India’s intrigue continues to interest me through the recent developments that this country has been making. It is the second largest nation in the world, and has the fourth largest national GDP in the world. These characteristics are intriguing while over 50% of the country’s workers are involved in agriculture. Thus, it presents a fantastic diversity of prominent cities that involve themselves in profitable services with beautiful agricultural lands worked by the majority. From what I have learned, it is the agricultural Indians who are in need of financial help in this country.
While researching India through a couple different think tanks, I came across the New Deal 2.0 website, a project of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. This website presented an intriguing article that discusses the financial problems involved in India, focusing on India’s micro-credit problem. The micro-credit problem is eerily familiar to America’s sub-prime mortgage problem, where lenders gave borrowers very small loans that were believed to guarantee repayment. As these lenders increased in size, a bubble started to form that nobody recognized, even as some lenders took their companies public and increasingly pumped money into their operations. Ultimately, the bubble burst and now people are dealing with intense debt in an already impoverished social class.
While I found this article to be intriguing and informational, I was surprised with the lack of evidence and alternative links the author used in presenting her information. I imagined that think tanks would go to greater extents to portray the economic circumstances of the country or of the individuals borrowing the micro-loans, but no such embellishment existed. Despite this small complaint, I found this article and all other information on this website to provide interesting, well-researched information about a variety of topics. I will be revisiting this website when researching information for our final paper.