March 20, 2013

Top 10 Crazy Facts About India

Here's a random list of things.
1.            Indians sometimes prefer to abort a fetus if they find out that it's female. (Or they just kill the new born baby after it's born.)
2.            There are more than 20 million babies born in India. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
3.            Child labor is so commonplace in India that few notice it or consider it out of the ordinary. Kids work as waiters or dishwashers in roadside restaurants. Sometimes, kids ferry tea to the local police station from a nearby roadside tea stall.
4.            Massive numbers of kids and younger and adult women are employed as maids in middle class to rich households. Middle class houses might pay 200 rupees to a female who comes and washes the dishes. Rich houses might employ women permanently by paying them more.
5.            Cars in the Indian cities are washed in the morning by car-washers who tend to be young men who get paid around 100 to 200 rupees per month for this service.
6.            India is home to some crazily competitive exams. The IIT JEE and the IIM CAT have crazy ratios of applicants versus number of seats. Half a million candidates might compete in the JEE for some 10,000 seats. 2,00,000 candidates might vie to study at the IIMs which have around 2,000 seats.
7.            Getting jobs is tough. People in India love government jobs. Civil service exams are the gateway to the IAS and the IFS -- jobs that command a lot of respect with a heritage going back to the British Raj. So more than 3,00,000 candidates try to get selected for less than 1,000 seats. In March 2013, it was reported that there were 1.3 million candidates for about 1,300 jobs advertised by the State Bank of India, India's largest bank, a Public Sector Bank.
8.            Indians hold on to a crazy old caste system with an incredible complexity that no outsider would ever be able to penetrate the subtlety of. Luckily, it's so pointlessly complicated that even most youngsters today are probably given to overlook and discount it.
9.            The traditional arranged marriages with lots of haggling over dowry persists despite various changes to society. The reason for this is a complex set consisting of the poverty of most Indians which makes people attracted to wealth and the deep need for sex and the skewed male-female sex ratios.
10.          A strange persistence of monogamy. The facts would appear to be that some 95 to 99 percent adult Indians might be monogamous with their spouses. There are of course very few divorces after marriage. Which does not necessarily imply high rates of marital bliss. Quite the contrary.
Since a picture is worth more than all of the above words, here's one about India:




Clearly a list of this kind about a country as vast and diverse as India can have 100s of items. Add any item that you feel should be included in the list in the comments.
Here's an interesting Quora thread related to this topic.


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