Benaras Ghat

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Drugs, Guns And Salvation In Benares

We see a regular rural landscape with pretensions of development -- hurriedly made haphazard structures, dusty barren lands stretching into dry fields, a cluster of tacky construction, flourishing small sweet-shops and retail traders co-existing with some fancy multinational outlets. Billboards at regular intervals have a beaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminding you that this is his territorial domain, one that he apparently wants to convert into a replica of Japan's breathtakingly charming Kyoto. I am told that real estate prices have skyrocketed high since May 2014. I nod in empathetic understanding.