MUMBAI -- Popular narratives about India typically divide the country into two neat halves. An aspirational urban middle class, whose command of English has seen the country surge as an IT superpower, and a wretched underclass, living in poverty, in remote rural expanses, cut-off from the very technologies that has India making the headlines from Bangalore to the Bay Area.
This is an important issue, which we need to examine, and which affects the lives of almost everyone in the country. Are we comfortable with the way in which our personal data is collected, and who has access to it? How much does our right to privacy matter, in an age where we share photos and personal details online with so much abandon? What is the balance that needs to be struck between security and liberty?
The debate around striking the balance between security and privacy may still be in its infancy, with secrecy a well-worn habit when it comes to our security agencies. Yet it is not abundantly clear that if we do not, as the US and other countries now accept is essential, bring our legal framework and oversight mechanisms in line with the expansive surveillance made possible by modern technology, our economy our privacy and our security will all suffer.
In this post-Snowden age, where privacy it seems is all but dead, a reinterpretation of Orwell's Big Brother and the omnipresent surveillance state certainly has a lot to offer. But this production at the Almeida is over-engineered, with high concept overwhelming the text, creating an inconsistent, uneven show.
Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be available for those who do.