Lots of wealthy tourists from India, Europe and the United States are beginning to arrive in Ladakh.
The government of India requires all children — including Ladakhi children — to attend public school. School will promote “progressive” ideas about the need for India and Ladakh to become more developed, like the United States and Great Britain. Primary school will be conducted in Urdu (a language not traditionally spoken in Ladakh) and secondary school will be conducted in English. These languages are considered more “modern.”
The government has constructed new highways connecting Ladakh with the large cities of India. This will allow more travel to and from Ladakh. The government hopes that increased transportation will help Ladakh to “develop.”
New theaters have opened in Ladakh. They show movies from all over the world. “Bollywood” movies — those made in Bombay, India, patterned after Hollywood movies — are the most common. They are Indian versions of U.S. films like the Lethal Weapon and James Bond series, Independence Day, etc.
Inexpensive Imported Barley and Wheat
“Free trade” means that goods from all over the world are being sold in India and in Ladakh. Merchants are importing large quantities of wheat and barley grown on huge mechanized farms owned by multinational corporations. Even after being transported long distances, the barley and wheat are sold for much less money than that grown in Ladakh.
New Stores in Ladakh
Merchants have moved into Ladakhi towns to open new stores. The stores sell goods from all over the world: TVs, VCRs, radios, refrigerators, posters of U.S. movie stars and sports heroes, etc. Many of the things for sale have never been seen before in Ladakh.