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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