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Connecting to the Future

NEW DELHI – One of my favorite photographs shows a Hindu sadhu right out of central casting – naked body, long matted hair and beard, ash-smeared forehead, rudraksha-mala around his neck, the works – chatting away on a mobile phone. The contrast says so much about the land of paradoxes that is today’s India – a country that, as I wrote years ago, manages to live in several centuries at the same time.

There is something particularly special about the sadhu and his cell phone, because it is in communications that India’s transformation in recent years has been most dramatic.