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Incredible India: “Twitter, Buffet and Darwin”

Letter to the Editor | Monday, November 11, 2013

Roaming cows, arranged marriages and spicy vegetables aside, there are countless other perspectives people have about India. These perspectives are eagerly accepted by those unaware of certain nuances in the nation, while they are contested equally as eagerly by those familiar with the nation. Regardless of your background experience with India, now is the time to make sure you become more familiar.
With over 1.2 billion people, more than 1,500 different languages and almost 70% of people between the ages of 15 and 64, India is a world of its own. While there is no limit to the diversity of topics that can be covered regarding the largest democracy in the world, there are certainly trends that are worth noting as we move forward. These trends are intense, intriguing and hotly debated. They are all relative to each unique perspective one may hold. As each country progresses through various cycles in its nation-ness, what is important is how each state is situated within the larger global context of nation states. How do countries relate to one another? Why does this matter for the rest of the world?
India and the United States have a significant relationship. Politically, even though known for its Non-Alignment tendencies, India has an identifiable record of changing attitudes and behavior. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India reviewed its foreign policy and took steps to strengthen its network with the West. Economically, the extensive liberalization of India’s economy greatly contributed to building and sustaining its connection to the United States. Globalization and a series of agreements paved the way for rapid economic growth from both ends. These developments only enhanced, and in turn are enhanced by, the cultural relationship shared by the two nations. Indians represent the second largest country that sends students to the United States, Christianity is the third most popular religion in India and most people in the United States can identify Indian food. The exchange of goods, ideas and people spans a vast expanse of implications.
Clearly, there are things happening in this synergy of these two entities and it is important to explore these issues. Timothy Roemer is the former U.S. Ambassador to India (2009-2011) and a former U.S. Congressman (1993-2003) in the House of Representatives. He is a Notre Dame alumnus and graduated in 1985 with a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies. He will be speaking at Notre Dame this Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium as part of the Liu Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series. His talk, titled “Twitter, Buffet, and Darwin: India and the United States’ Relationship” will engage the Notre Dame and South Bend community in this topic and will focus on the crucial links between the nations. As is customary to every memorable Notre Dame affair, there is a reception open and welcome to everyone immediately after the event. As one of the many events during International Education Week, this event is co-sponsored by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. With support also from the College of Arts & Letters, the Mendoza College of Business, Notre Dame International and the departments of Economics, History and Political Science.
Nikitha Taniparti
Class of 2014
Nov. 12