July 01, 2009

Q and A

After my speech at Peking University concluded I ate Indian food with chopsticks for the first time. A newly opened Indian restaurant in the student area had generously provided dinner to all the attendees of the seminar. After finishing my meal and posing for a few photographs, I was rushed back on stage. It was time to answer some questions from the audience. The Q&A portion of my inaugural lecture at an institute of higher education drew great interest.

1. What is the religious composition of India?

The computational knowledge engine known as Wolfram Alpha spit out the following facts:

80.5% Hindu       
13.4% Muslim                                          
2.3% Christian
1.9% Sikh
1.9% Others (Buddhist, Jain, etc.)

They were in line with the estimates provided by myself using the computational knowledge engine known as the ARNABrain.

2. Are there really cows on the street? (The girl asking this warned me beforehand that it would be a "cute" question.)

Yes, there are many cows to be found on the streets of India. Delhi is supposed to have at least 40,000 holy cows wandering its streets alone. The blessed bovines are revered by Hindus, so they are free to roam the roads unharmed. 

3. Why does India have significantly more developed IT and bio tech sectors than China?

This was the toughest question of the bunch, warranting further investigation. I muttered a convulated answer about how China has much greater infrastructure than India and equivalent educational instituitions, but is severely lagging behind in English language skills and in the free flow of information and knowledge that is continually transferred between India and the West.


“He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.” -  Voltaire