April 21, 2021

TII: This is India

In Korba, a coal mining town in Chhattisgarh, India the colors and energy of a vital and perplexing nation are ever vivid. Photo/Keith Schneider RAIPUR, Chhattisgarh, India — This striking nation, with cities full to the brim with people, and a lavish countryside wired together by kidney-jostling roads lined with mango trees, is a treasure of surprises and paradoxes all its own. In nearly a month of travel here, to India’s capital New Delhi, its …

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Rice, Wheat, and Water Serve Up Equal Helpings of Punjab’s Wealth and Risk

Haryana, in northeast India, has one of the highest per capita incomes among India’s 28 states. Neighboring Punjab also ranks at the top. The most important reason: the huge wheat and rice harvests, the latter processed and stored in this mill in Naraingarh. Photo/Keith Schneider NARAINGARH, Haryana, India — The first rain in six months, and a stout and cold wind whipped at the black plastic covering stacks of grain Thursday morning at the Shivshakti …

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Haverford and Shabbat Service in New Delhi

Abigail Wacker, a Fulbright scholar and fellow Haverford alum, class of 2010, with me at the Judah Hyam Shabbat evening service in New Delhi. Photo/J. Carl Ganter NEW DELHI — Abigail Wacker’s red Haverford College sweatshirt was the second thing I noticed early Friday evening at the Judah Hyam Synagogue here in India’s capital city. The first was the group of students sitting next to her earnestly listening to Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, the congregation’s spiritual …

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Teeming Life in New Delhi’s Slum Hut Neighborhoods

Bribery, payoffs, cuts of the action, under the table — the steady flow of cash to get things done in India, big and small, is itself an economy of opportunity for the rich and the poor. Corruption is a social and political issue rising in priority, as this sign in East Delhi shows. Photo/Keith Schneider NEW DELHI — Across the street from the dirt entrance to Vasant Kunj men and boys worked the many hoses …

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Delhi’s Jews

Next to the Judah Hyam Synagogue, New Delhi’s only Jewish temple, lies an 80-year-old cemetery. Photo/Keith Schneider NEW DELHI — When I was a kid growing up in White Plains, New York it seemed my whole world was Jewish. At the time there were about 5 million Jews in the United States (there are 6.5 million today) and about half lived in and around New York City. Most of my friends were Jewish. Rosh Hashanah …

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New Delhi Is Mongrel City

Gone to the dogs is an understatement in India’s capital city. Strays live on every corner, on every street, roaming at will. Photo/Keith Schneider NEW DELHI – — It was already dark when we made our way from Indira Gandhi International Airport to Nizamuddin East, one of this capital city’s safest neighborhoods. Electricity is erratic and expensive so New Delhi’s authorities don’t spend a lot to light the highways and boulevards. But through the smudged …

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