Snakes and Ladders

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Snakes and Ladders by Gita Mehta is a book that celebrates India and its history. The author provides many short stories that try to show how India is trying to develop as a nation. She tells about the complex religious system, as well as cultural diversity, and the corruption of India's government. She shows the reader many aspects of the experience of living in India, which Mehta clearly shows that she loves, but she attempts to remain neutral about the issues that she discusses.

When the Indian nationalists were revolting against the British Empire, it changed the way of life in India. It let women have a more active role in everyday activities. Mehta's father played a very active role in the revolutions; he used his house as a place for Indian nationalists to hide out for this he was placed in jail for several years. Her uncle was sentenced to seventeen years in a torture camp for different charges. Yet when asked what their worst memory of being under British rule was, they simply provided a simple story with not much significance. Now instead of being under British rule, the India people are under the rule of leaders that view themselves as being the person who drove the British out of India. One thing remains the same though, the people of India view their land as being their own, and that is what is important to them.

One of the major problems facing India is poverty among its people. India is one of the ten most industrialized countries in the world, they graduate around five million people from college each year, and they even have a space program more advanced than most European countries. Yet the people of India are still starving, they do not produce enough jobs for all of the college graduates, and despite the fact that they can travel into space, India has underdeveloped irrigation, and electrical grids.

On the outskirts of Delhi, the author found people rummaging through garbage dumps. At first she thought that they were...
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