How Young Indians are Changing the World
What happens when 100 million young people in India’s small towns and villages suddenly start dreaming big?
600 million Indians, more than half the population, are under twenty-five. This generation lives between extremes: more connected and global than ever, but with narrow ideas of Indian identity; raised with the cultural values of their grandparents, but the life goals of American teenagers. These dreamers are the face of a new India. Angry, and frustrated with being marginalised by both globalisation and India’s old politics, they place hope in the Modi government’s exclusionary nationalism and, above all, in their personal truths: shape your own future; exploit, or be exploited.
Journalist Snigdha Poonam tracks these young fortune-seekers—aspiring Bollywood stars and clickbait gurus, the Cow Protection Army hoodlums and India’s first female student union president—all united by the belief that they were born for bigger and better things. Dreamers brings to life their boundless ambition and extraordinary imagination to create opportunities in the unlikeliest of spaces.
Snigdha Poonam is a writer with the Hindustan Times in Delhi. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times and Granta. Her article 'Lady Singham’s Mission Against Love' was runner-up in the Bodley Head / Financial Times Essay Prize, 2015