Conexión al futuro

NUEVA DELHI – Una de mis fotografías favoritas muestra a un hombre santo hindú (sadhu) inmediatamente después de un ritual – con el cuerpo desnudo, la barba y los cabellos largos y enmarañados, la frente manchada de ceniza, un collar de meditación (rudraksha-mala) alrededor del cuello, en sí todo lo característico – charlando en un teléfono móvil. El contraste dice mucho sobre la India de hoy en día, la tierra de las paradojas – un país que, como escribí hace algunos años atrás, se las arregla para vivir en muchos y distintos siglos al mismo tiempo.

Hay algo muy especial acerca del sadhu y su teléfono móvil, porque es en el ámbito de las comunicaciones donde la transformación de la India ha sido más dramática en los últimos años.

En el año 1975, cuando salí de la India para ir a los Estados Unidos a realizar mis estudios de postgrado, posiblemente había unos 600 millones de habitantes y únicamente dos millones de teléfonos fijos. Tener un teléfono era un privilegio raro. Si usted no era un personero importante del gobierno, un médico o un periodista, probablemente estaba destinado a languidecer en una larga lista de espera y a nunca recibir un teléfono. Los miembros del Parlamento tenían entre sus privilegios el derecho de asignar 15 conexiones telefónicas a quien ellos consideraban dignos de tenerlas.

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