Business Caught in Middle of India's Culture War

STR/AFP/Getty Images

In India, where outsourced call centers have become the most visible beacon of globalization, an uncomfortable realization has dawned upon some of the country's traditionalists: With foreign investment comes foreign culture. Now, even as the global financial crisis takes its toll on the Indian economy, the traditionalists are growing more anxious. This past weekend, as young Indians celebrated the seemingly innocuous Western tradition of Valentine's Day, those fissures turned violent. In a smattering of incidents all around the country, couples holding hands or celebrating in restaurants or bars found themselves dragged out, beaten, and humiliated in front of camera crews by gangs of men affiliated to various Hindu groups.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.