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The Ideas Shaping a New India

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The article ”The Ideas Shaping a New India” was published in the reputable newspaper, The New York Times on January 14, 2011. The article is written by The New York Times journalist Anand Giridharadas. Giridharadas is rooted in India and has also lived there himself. In the article Giridharadas states that India like a few other countries have more than one birth date. Furthermore, he seeks to identify and pass on five central ideas, which have helped India’s development.

The language of the article is readily accessible for the common reader. This is probably due to the fact that the intention of the author is to spread the message that India is a country in rapid progress, which could be because of his personal interest in the matter. Therefore it is advantageous to make the article comprehensible for most social classes.

Owing to the fact that the article is written by one single person it can be argued that it will always contain a certain amount of subjectivity. This argument is additionally confirmed in a statement by the author: “Here, based on my own years of traveling in and reporting on the country…” (p. 1, ll. 15-16). Standing alone this sort of journalism would be weak and unreliable, but Giridharadas fortunately sees to make use of references to factual statements concerning the years of certain events and the like in order to consolidate the reliability of the text. Due to the aforementioned circumstances it can therefore be argued that the author utilizes the appeal forms logos and ethos to his advantage. Ethos is contributing to his trustworthiness because of his own traveling in India and logos is strengthening the feel of objectivity in the article.

However, there is a considerable factor, which is weakening the article as a whole. “A rising group of young Indians conceives of class very differently; not as a fixed identity, but as a transient situation, and a situation that can change” (p. 1, ll. 32-34). The five central ideas that are presented by the author contain absolutely no ground, which is exemplified in the above-written quotation. His claims are all describing the progress of India, but neither of them is backed up by any sort of factual ground to support his subjective opinion on the matter. This fact jeopardizes the reliability of the entire text. Having concluded that there is no factual ground for the claims in the article it can be argued that the reliability depends of the trustworthiness of the author as a person – not as a writer.

In conclusion, the main message of the article, concerning the birth dates of India and the claimed progress in the country, can be received very differently depending on the reader. The article is accessible for most people and is supposedly very enlightening. There is a certain amount of logos and ethos present in the article, which contributes to the reliability, but the crux of the matter is the lack of ground for the opinions presented in the text. Therefore the reliability of the text depends on how the reader sees the author. It can anyhow be argued that the text suffers from a lack of factually based material to support an otherwise interesting article that unfortunately to some extend is ruined by academic incompetence.

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