India: A Portrait, By Patrick French


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The Independent Culture

This epic diorama is a mosaic-like combination of close-ups. In a section on India's new wealth, we learn that the south is the centre for innovation. This trait is typified by an innovator who, shocked that his wife couldn't afford sanitary towels, invented a low-cost alternative.

On society, a DNA expert's research reveals, "India is like a melting pot." Bad news for caste fundamentalists. Noting that the prevalence of servants is the "most significant cultural difference between India and the West", French explores a murder case in which the lives of two innocent dentists were destroyed due to "lack of knowledge about people in their home" and "administrative dystopia". This book does justice to its vast subject.