January 28, 2013
Mobile Phones Disrupt India, for Better and Worse
In 2012, India had 925 million mobile phone subscribers. The phones have helped organize protests by middle-class Indians, most recently against the savage rape and slaying of a young woman in Delhi. Bloomberg reports.
They have also starred in one of India’s biggest-ever scandals. The country’s most prominent politicians, journalists and businessmen were incriminated in a rigged auction of 2G spectrum; they were exposed by the secretly taped phone conversations of a corporate lobbyist.
A superb new book, “The Great Indian Phone Book: How the Cheap Cell Phone Changes Business, Politics, and Daily Life,” by Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, reminds us how little we have explored the new landscape of opportunity, aspiration and, inevitably, disappointment that mobile phones have opened up in India.
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