I was intrigued to learn the other day that there are now more cellphones in India than toilets. Almost half the Indian population, 563.7 million people, is hooked up to modern communications, while just 366 million have access to modern sanitation, according to a United Nations study.
This can be seen as skewed development favoring private networks over the public good. It can be seen as an example of markets outstripping governments: Nimble cellphone companies profit while lumbering Indian authorities are unable even to stop the propagation of water-borne disease through defecation in the open. Or it can be seen merely as the choice Indians have made about their priorities.