13 August, 2012

From Our Own Correspondent-BBC Somalia and India

From Our Own Correspondent-BBC
Somalia and India

Listen now (10 minutes)


Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world, introduced by Pascale Harter. In this edition:

Can Mogadishu mend itself?

Mogadishu has often been called 'the most dangerous capital city on earth', but there are very small signs it might soon lose that unwelcome title. Somalia has recently been nominated top of the world's Failed States Index for the fifth year running. The country has for more than two decades been without a functioning central authority. It's been a place of war, drought and famine. But if all goes to plan, the 20 years of conflict and chaos could end later this month, with a new parliament and president.

Although suicide and grenade attacks remain all too frequent on its streets, Mary Harper encountered a kind of battered haven in the city, amid the wreckage of what was once its cathedral.

Keeping up appearances

"It's not what you know, but who you know". Or even "it's not who you know, but what you are". Or perhaps "it doesn't matter who you are, but what you HAVE". The techniques for getting ahead in society vary from place to place and era to era, but one much-favoured tactic is to send your children to the very finest schools you can afford. In India, with its burgeoning middle class and historic respect for education, competition for places at the best establishments is getting ever fiercer.

Rahul Tandon recently had to find a good school for his daughter and found that her own academic achievements had less to do with her chances for entry, than how prosperous an image her parents could present.


(Image: Indian school girls. Credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images) http://samotalis.blogspot.com/

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