I’m on another trip to India. I love this country. The spirituality, the rugged realness, the community feeling, the vibrancy. Its a land of dreams, entrepreneurial fervor and deep emotions. But now that I’ve become a father, there is a stark reality underscoring my love: Would I ever want my daughter to live here?
Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, is a voracious leader. His vision for the economic future of India is completely revolutionary. But somehow, something still feels slightly off.
When our very own Barry O visited Modi back in December, I didn’t know why the response was so muted. Modi broke a whole bunch of precedents to welcome Obama, coming to the airport to greet him, extensively holding his hand and basically trying to make physical contact as often as possible. He had a singular goal of trying to become besties.
I think President Obama feels like I do. He sees lots of potential for greatness, but can’t be holding hands just yet. Not till India is a great country for women. Any free country in which women must move around in fear is not a free country. Any democracy that censors media from creating dialogue around these social truths is not a real democracy. Any country that prioritizes economic growth over social progress is misbalanced. We still have a lot of these issues back home but its different in Asia.
I feel there is some social upheaval in the cards in Asia. The injustices of the Chinese labor force. The injustices of women in india. At some point we will see these groups rise and confront this. We just hope that the government is there to hold them up. Once that happens, then sure, lets hold hands.