Because, as far as many Americans are concerned, nothing happens until they read about it in the New York Times, I'm going to try to keep up with that illustrious paper's India coverage periodically. Here's the first entry.
Sunday, Amy Waldman weighed in on the rash of suicides by farmers in South India (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/06/international/asia/06INDI.html). Beginning with a typical "color lead," she reiterates the line that local coverage has been following, i.e. that these suicides are the result of economic reforms that have eliminated many of the support systems of the welfare state. Like most of Ms. Waldman's articles, this is a well-written piece of reportage. But this piece, like all those I've read, doesn't explore the other reasons behind the thousands of farmer suicides. Surely this is a form of protest as dramatic as the mines that communist would-be revolutionaries used to blow up former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu's car. I'd like to see more about the historical context of suicide protests, as well as some more exploration of whether these suicides are a form of collective action.