India Connected

India Connected : How the Smartphone is Transforming the World's Largest Democracy

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Former chief CNN India correspondent and award-wining journalist Ravi Agrawal takes readers on a journey across the Subcontinent, through its remote rural villages and its massive metropolises, seeking out the nexuses of change created by smartphones, and with them connection to the internet.

As always with India, the numbers are staggering: in 2000, 20 million Indians had access to the internet; by 2017, 465 million were online, with three Indians discovering the internet every second. By 2020, India's online community is projected to exceed 700 million, and more than a billion Indians are expected to be online by 2025. In the course of a single generation, access to the internet has progressed from dial-up connections on PCs, to broadband access, wireless, and now 4G data on
phones. The rise of low-cost smartphones and cheap data plans has meant the country leapfrogged the baby steps their Western counterparts took toward digital fluency. The results can be felt in every sphere of life, upending traditions and customs and challenging conventions. Nothing is untouched, from
arranged marriages to social status to business start-ups, as smartphones move the entire economy from cash-based to credit-based. Access to the internet is affecting the progress of progress itself. As Agrawal shows, while they offer immediate and sometimes mind-altering access to so much for so many, smartphones create no immediate utopia in a culture still riven by poverty, a caste system, gender inequality, illiteracy, and income disparity. Internet access has provided greater opportunities
to women and changed the way in which India's many illiterate poor can interact with the world, but it has also meant that pornography has become more readily available. Under a government keen to control content, it has created tensions. And in a climate of hypernationalism, it has fomented
violence and even terrorism.

The influence of smartphones on "the world's largest democracy" is nonetheless pervasive and irreversible, and India Connected reveals both its dimensions and its implications.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 164 x 239 x 22mm | 468g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190858656
  • 9780190858650
  • 1,314,345

Review quote

The smartphone may well rank among fire and electricity in terms of sheer impact on humanity. And, as Ravi Agrawal argues in this book, there are few places in the world that have experienced that revolution as forcefully as India. Like no one else, Agrawal highlights just how far India has come with the smartphone, and how much further it can go. A read as entertaining as it is informative. * Ian Bremmer, author of Us vs. Them: The Failure of Globalism * The automobile unleashed American freedom and energy. The smartphone is doing the same for India. To understand why India will succeed, read this fascinating book. Modern India leaps out of its pages. * Kishore Mahbubani, author of Has the West Lost It? * India Connected is a fascinatingaand very well-writtenaaccount of the ways in which the smartphone is transforming every aspect of Indian life, from marriage to politics, and not always for the better. It is a remarkable work of non-fiction ... a must-read for everyone who is interested in contemporary India. * Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement * The story of how India has gotten Wired is one of the most important in the world, and youall find no better guide than Ravi Agrawal. Heas dug in to give us a story of optimism, intrigue, and profound change. And he does it with grace: chasing down stories and introducing us to people whose stories are revealing and riveting. I read it straight through and I suspect you will too. * Nicholas Thompson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired * In this delightfully readable book, Ravi Agrawal blends the experiences of an assortment of interesting characters with his own insightful reflections, succinctly capturing an India riding on the wave of the internet-enabled smartphone revolution, while always conscious of its challenges and limitations. His India Connected: How Smartphones are Transforming the Worldas Biggest Democracy is illuminating, eye-opening, and like the phones it describes,
smart. An engaging read! * Shashi Tharoor, author of Inglorious Empire *
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About Ravi Agrawal

Ravi Agrawal has worked for CNN for over a decade in London, New York, and New Delhi. He currently lives in New York.
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Rating details

7 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 57% (4)
4 14% (1)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 14% (1)
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