Tata’s are paving the way for WiMax networks in India (WiMax is an alternative to cable and DSL. See). Like the televison and mobile phone networks, India is poised to leapfrog over old technologies and land right into the future of high speed wireless networks. It is fantastic. India’s developmental model is unique. While we get WiMax, we also get temples and prayers.
It’s a shrewd business move by the Tatas. In India, religion sells. That aside, it is interesting to note that religion may once again prove to be a developmental tool. I say ‘once again’ because there are precedents. Development of societies on the strength of literacy supported by religion is one of the useful side-effects of religion. Judaism and Christianity offered literacy (through the readings of Talmud and Bible) as much as salvation. It is important to recognize this ancient and medieval usefulness in religion. However, the present isn’t medieval and we don’t need religion in order to become literate (unless, you are born into a society of fanatics with withdrawal symptoms). Whatever religion offered before – social cohesion, for instance, which it offered in return for unquestioning faith-, science, technology and reason offer the same in a more enlightened manner.