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India is a country stemmed deep in cultural and economic history, yet today it is still one of the most divided countries in the world. The social stratification of the 3000 year old Indian Caste system strictly divides Hindus in hierarchical groups based on their dharma (duty) and karma (work) – despite the outlaw against the practice of discrimination by Caste in the Indian independence constitution. Recent politicians have broadly supported Caste and it has been allowed to flourish. It is this stark polarity of class that strikes Trevor McDonald as travels across India by train.
Exploring India onboard the luxurious and impressive Maharajas’ Express in a two part documentary he explores a wide variety of aspects to the country, including the rich heritage of the countries kings and the development since it gained independence from the United Kingdom. Filmed over 8 days he takes in some truly wondrous sights, but can’t help but notice the squalor and abject poverty many in the country endure.
The veteran broadcaster compares the country to that he first experienced 30 years ago as a foreign correspondent, particularly its advancement as a growing economic superpower with modern high-tech factories, luxurious five star hotels and the world’s most expensive home. Even the rail network is advancing far ahead in terms of technology – the Indian government has aimed to electrify the countries network by 2022, this is no easy feat given the 7400 stations and 20000 daily services operated each day. Since its inception in 1834 the rail network has blossomed into one of the world’s busiest, a great demonstration of how new found wealth is benefiting the whole country.
With a career in the UK’s media spotlight spanning 50 years this year, Trevor is perfect to showcase the changes in different parts of the world during that period. After briefly joining the BBC in 1969 he moved to ITN where he became very famous, firstly as a general correspondent, then a sports presenter but many will recognise his contribution as an international political correspondent. In recent times he has made a series of acclaimed documentaries, including Fred and Rose West: The Real Story with Trevor McDonald, James Bulger: A Mother’s Story with Trevor McDonald and Death Row 2018 with Trevor McDonald.
This documentary promises to be as interesting and engaging as all of his other work and is well worth a watch.
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