Ligação ao Futuro

NOVA DELI - Uma das minhas fotografias favoritas mostra um sadhu (monge) hindu que parece saído de um filme - o corpo nu, com o cabelo comprido e emaranhado e barba, a testa pintada com cinza, ao pescoço leva um rudrakshamala (rosário feito de sementes de rudraksha) - a conversar ao telemóvel. O contraste diz muito sobre a terra de paradoxos que é a Índia actual - um país que, como escrevi há alguns anos, consegue viver em vários séculos em simultâneo.

Há algo particularmente especial sobre o sadhu e o seu telemóvel, porque é nas comunicações que a transformação da Índia nos últimos anos tem sido mais significativa.

Quando em 1975 saí da Índia para os Estados Unidos para prosseguir os estudos superiores, havia talvez 600 milhões de indianos e apenas dois milhões de telefones fixos. Ter um telefone era um privilégio raro: caso não fossemos funcionários importantes do governo, médicos, ou jornalistas, podíamos definhar numa longa lista de espera e nunca chegar a receber um telefone. Um dos privilégios dos membros do parlamento era o direito de atribuir 15 ligações telefónicas a quem eles considerassem digno de as poder ter.

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