In India, as in China, a new generation of architects is confronting the challenge of building in a vast, populous country that is racing to catch up with the developed world. The economies of both nations were liberalized in the early 1990s, allowing small firms to flourish alongside state monopolies. The urban middle class is expanding and cities are exploding with an influx of job-seekers from the countryside. Luxurious high rises co-exist with squalid slums, small workshops with glossy office parks. The inequalities of wealth and power shock foreigners, but the deep-rooted culture of India and its vibrant democracy defuse tensions that would provoke social unrest in Western countries.