Mira Kamdar, a former Paris-based editorial board member of The New York Times, is the author of the memoir Motiba’s Tattoos: A Granddaughter’s Journey from America into her Indian Family’s Past (2000) and the nonfiction book Planet India: The Turbulent Rise of the World’s Largest Democracy and the Future of our World (2008). Her new book, India in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, has just been published. (April 2018)
The more people become familiar with what’s really happening on the periphery of Paris—by visiting, eating a meal, going for a hike, listening to a concert, or attending an art opening—the less the populist far-right’s xenophobic fear-mongering machine will be able to exploit the bogeyman of the banlieues. And the more the people who live in the greater Paris area can participate in the invention of their own future as part of “Grand Paris,” the less that future will have to fear from those whom Paris has historically relegated to its periphery.