I usually skim over and delete forwarded emails within seconds of receiving them, but when Sean-Paul Kelley’s scathing assessment of India popped up in my inbox, I carefully read and re-read each word with rising irritation and, ultimately, anger. Kelley is an American travel writer whose bio on several sites, including The Huffington Post, states that he has had several very good jobs, he maintains a highly regarded blog called The Agonist and he has travelled in more than 47 countries. While this last fact makes his voice a little more deserving of deliberation, it does not transform his words into gospel, even if the majority of what he writes is true; the accountants’ truth matters little if couched in words that are roundly negative, Westernist and irresponsible.
A brief summary of Kelley’s piece:
India (except Kerala) is polluted, infrastructurally backward, bureaucratically inefficient and riven with corruption. And things aren’t going to get better, because no Indians (except in Kerala) “give a shit”.