Take a step back from the techno-Babel that surrounds you: the incessant chatter of satellite TV, your OnePlus5 pinging as the nearest Uber locks into your GPS, the urgent messages to link your UID to PAN to bank account.... Take a step back from all that, and you see a void. Most of what we fill our lives with is borrowed modernity. It’s the 21st century, one that apparently belongs to Asia, yet most of the time we need to take solace from ancient glory. At frustrated moments, one might even feel India’s contribution to the things that run our world pretty much adds up to that old concept we invented: zero. In the private sphere, reverse engineering rules. But the starkest failures belong to the zone that had both the monetary support and the mandate: the public institutional space.
Editing: Suraj Wadhwa