Frontline World

INDIA, Starring Osama Bin Laden, June 2003

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Starring Osama Bin Laden"

Backstage With the Producer

Confronting New Myths

Background, About Jatras, Freedom of Expression

Indian Theater, Reaction to September 11, Media




Views of a Changing World

This report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released in June 2003, explores how the war with Iraq has divided global politics. Included in the extensive publication are findings on people's confidence in world figures -- including Osama bin Laden -- to do the right thing regarding world affairs. The report is part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

Links and Resources

• General Background
• India and September 11
• Indian Theater
• Media Resources

General Background

State Department Background Note
The U.S. State Department's Country Profile provides an overview of India's demographics, history, politics and economic climate.

India Image
This portal links to basic facts about the country and an exhaustive directory of government homepages, from India's national airline to its zoological survey.

Indian Census 2001
Preliminary data from India's latest census, including population counts by city and state, literacy rates for men and women, and employment statistics.

West Bengal Tourism
The government of West Bengal offers practical information for visitors to the state.

Virtual Calcutta
This extensive site provides historical and political background, plus links and photos, of the "City of Joy."

Indian Diaspora
The Indian government maintains this Web site for the estimated 20 million people of Indian origin living outside the country.

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India and September 11

New Ties With India
Old Cold War alignments -- India with Russia, Pakistan with the United States -- gave way in the late 1990s to a new friendship between India and the United States, thanks in large part to increased economic ties between the world's two largest democracies. Renewed U.S. ties to Pakistan, however, forged at the outset of the U.S. war on terrorism, worry Indian politicians, according to this August 2002 report by NewsHour With Jim Lehrer correspondent Simon Markes.

America's War
This archived edition of the biweekly Indian magazine Frontline (put out by the publishers of The Hindu) offers a snapshot of how the Indian media covered the attacks of September 11.

View From India
India is a secular country with a Hindu majority, but it has the second-largest Muslim population anywhere in the world. This October 2001 report by PBS's NewsHour With Jim Lehrer shows that although many moderate Indian Muslims welcomed the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan, small pro-Taliban rallies aggravated Hindu-Muslim tensions.

India and Terrorism
This Indian government site is a collection of official and media reactions to global terrorist threats.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch, an international nongovernmental organization, monitors human rights abuses around the world, including abuses stemming from the fight against terrorism. The organization concludes that sweeping antiterrorism legislation passed by India's parliament in late 2001 has since been used to target "political opponents, religious minorities, Dalits, tribals and even children."

The Real Bin Laden
Writer Mary Ann Weaver reported this New Yorker profile of Osama bin Laden before September 11, 2001, but her exploration of how the son of a wealthy Saudi family ended up as America's most-wanted criminal remains relevant.

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Indian Theater

This piece, from a Web site run by the Indian government, explores the evolution of folk theater known as jatra. Forms of jatra range from religious-themed performances by small groups of young villagers to scripted plays staged by professional traveling theater companies.

Street Theatre
This report on a private Web site details how activists in India use street theater to raise awareness of issues such as dowry demands and environmental conservation.

Indian Theatre
Indian theater ranges from ancient Sanskrit dramas to folk plays to avant-garde performance art, according to this government-run site. The site features photos of performances around the country.

Bengali Heritage
This Web site provides an overview of Bengali culture, with descriptions of folk music genres and profiles of famous Bengalis, including poet Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate.

Planet Bollywood
This site, with its archived film reviews, fawning movie star profiles and breathless gossip, offers a glimpse into the world's largest and most lively film industry.

More Bollywood
Bollywood is no Hollywood knockoff, but rather a global phenomenon in its own right, according to this article in an American weekly newspaper.

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Media Resources

All India Radio
This state-run radio network broadcasts news, music and entertainment in 24 regional languages throughout the country. The Web site features English-language transcripts of news updates.

BBC News South Asia
The British Broadcasting Corporation's South Asia portal provides the latest updates from the region, plus links to BBC News in seven South Asian languages.

Economic and Political Weekly
The Economic and Political Weekly tackles news and contemporary issues in India and abroad, with commentaries and in-depth analysis from academics and left-leaning critics. Register for free access to the archives.

The Statesman
Based in Calcutta, The Statesman is one of India's oldest newspapers.

The Hindu
This Madras-based national newspaper's Friday edition features expanded coverage of art and culture.

The Times of India
The Times of India began as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce in 1838. It is currently published in 10 cities across India and boasts more than 4 million readers.

Samachar takes its name from the Hindi word for news. Aimed at Indians abroad, this site compiles headlines from India's major English-language dailies.

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