India’s Upheaval: Similar to U.K.?

    Activists of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and supporters of prominent anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare shout slogan during a protest in Amritsar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lashed out at India's most prominent anti-corruption crusader Wednesday, accusing the fasting activist of trying to circumvent democracy by demanding Parliament pass a reform bill he supports. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Altaf Qadri / AP Photo

    On the surface, Britain's five days of looting and rioting don’t look very similar to India’s largely peaceful—but still disruptive—protests, led by activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike. But both are rooted in widespread disgust at the governments’ years of mishandling poverty and social unrest and were exacerbated by social media. “Both the U.K. and Indian governments are approaching their crises with simplistic answers,” writes British journalist John Elliott, who is based in Delhi. But the solutions to the two nations’ unrest have been vastly different, as British Prime Minister David Cameron acted quickly to shut down the U.K. riots and arrest those responsible, while the Indian government has had a somewhat more muddled response—it set up a committee to work with Hazare, but the widespread assumption is that it will ignore the recommendations.

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