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A sadu sitting along the ghats of the Ganges River. Photo by Jen Goings, India Semester.

Responses to big questions

What is development? How do you see it represented in India?

Development is progress. This progress does not necessarily have to be positive or negative as long as there is change. A lot of the time, development is connotated with positive change that usually composes of western ideology as well as providing for the masses. For example, in India we have seen peoples with cellphones and denim jeans. People are speaking more English than what I expected. There has also been a larger increase in providing basic necessities to the people. This would include food, cold water and AC.

What is America’s version of the caste system?

While most people would say the class system, I believe that race is the closest thing we have to the caste system. The caste system was explained as a predetermined description people live by. Their name gives away their position so there is no way to hide from it. Also, someone in a lower caste cannot move up the caste system no matter how much money they make. In America, and some other countries, a person’s race is something that stays the same forever, no matter how much you try to change or ignore it. No matter how rich or famous a person of color gets, they will still get discriminated against as a person without power.