With the impending election in mind, I read the report “India free but not equal: Jesse Jackson” (Feb. 26), on Senator Jackson’s recent visit to India. Unfortunately, Ed Miliband did not make it but I suspect he would not have been so forthright. While there are enormous differences in GDP between India and the U.S., $1,700 and $54,000 (EIU, 2014), I noted his comparisons between India and the U.S., both countries reaching for the stars technologically in their own way while both are neglecting their needy. As a regular visitor to India over the past 15 years and an admirer of its democracy in many ways, I have observed some progress on the one hand while many commentators report continuing poor infrastructure, and health and welfare “systems.” While a new Indian government faces many challenges, the eyes of the world will not only be noting technological progress but that most important aspect of a society — how the most vulnerable are treated and provided for.

Regrettably, it is this aspect of India which will most poignantly and painfully remain with me on my return to the U.K. where we have similar arguments to address but thankfully in relative terms.

Chas Lillystone,

Camp: Kovalam, Kerala

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