INCREDIBLE INDIA

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India is a continent pretending to be a country.

With 1.3 billion people, dozens of languages and several thousand castes, many States with population larger than most countries, and the source of major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism.

The only place where you could find, recently, a 80% Hindu population whereas the President was a Muslim, the Prime Minister a Sikh and the most important politician an Italian-born Christian.

A real human kaleidoscope where all eras of human history co-exist in the same street. Where traditions belonging to different centuries are enacted every day by the same person.

And yet, the largest word democracy, a world leader in information technology, a nuclear power with growing space capabilities, with thriving business houses and the best engineering colleges in the world.

A land of gross inequalities, many caste-related but also gender-related, with as many poor people as the whole of Africa put together.

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One of the largest Muslim populations in the world, around 200 million, and yet with a Hindu nationalistic party in power at present.

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Not an easy place to be a woman, especially of the lower castes, as feminicides and rape as still shockingly common.

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Children have often to grow quickly, take care of their younger siblings and work to help their families.

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A very young population, needing jobs and with growing ambitions, and totally different expectations from their elders.

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A land where nature is always present and respected, even amidst the chaos of the capital city.

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India is the land of contradictions and of extremes, of beauty and squalor, of richness and misery. But always fascinating.

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