Assuming a household head's age to be between 25 and 50 (before and after they would be dependent on someone), about half the households in 2025 would have a Liberalisation Child as its head. As they get the baton, or rather grab it, even the other 50 per cent would be dragged along. This will lead to a huge shift in consumer behaviour. For instance, the Liberalisation Children would have a totally different attitude to consumption vs saving, accessing credit vs living within your means, consumption priorities, and the difference between necessity and luxury. A similar shift will happen in business to business transactions as more and more companies get Liberalisation Children as CEOs. "There is a transition taking place from Nehruvian brahmins to Naiduvian banias, destiny-driven to destination-driven, inward- to outward-focused, government-employed to self-employed, stuck-in-my-station-in-life to upwardly mobile," says Bijapurkar.This story is not about urban India alone. Already, the share of consumption expenditure of rural India on food items has decreased from 73 per cent 30 years ago to 59 per cent. Rural India has reduced its dependence on agriculture. A little less than half of rural gdp is from non-agricultural activities. This is creating a different kind of rural market. NCAER occupation data shows a decline in cultivators; there is enough evidence of dual sector households. With increased telephonic connectivity and the plan to build dependable round-the-year rural roads, rural India will join the mainstream sooner than later.So, is India about to live up to its promise of a burgeoning middle class that lured MNCs and other investors in droves in the mid-1990s; a promise that is now little more than a joke? For that to fulfil itself, the policymakers will have to demonstrate rare vision in education and job creation.Some concrete evidence has come to light to support what we've all known all along: there is something wrong with our education system. The government's taskforce on employment, headed by Planning Commission member S.P. Gupta, has found that nearly 60 per cent of the unemployed are educated, having done Class 10 or above, of which 80 per cent are in the 19-29 age bracket. "The young population is a treasure provided they get not only proper education but also jobs. We need much more vocational studies," says Gupta.It won't be easy. The onus used to be on the government and the public sector. However, even as the new order of private enterprise has come up, there is little evidence of substantial job creation. On the contrary, cost cutting and workforce rationalisation are the order of the day. To compound matters, India has missed out on the manufacturing boom that enabled East Asia to have a vast section of the working population migrate from agriculture to industry. Policymakers ought to realise that education and jobs are not optional but imperative. "A lack of job creation may find a manifestation in politics and stall reforms," warns Gokarn. Says Sunil Khilnani, professor of politics at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC: "If that vast population (ready to enter the working age population) is not given education and jobs, it can create a potentially volatile situation. We have seen that happening in the West Asia, where a similar demographic led to a politics of extremism." Ominous or promising? Take your pick.
All About The Zippies
APJ Abdul Kalam
'500 Million Young Will Transform India' ! Azim Premji:
Is On The Wall: Get The A,B,C Right ! Paromita Shastri
Shoots ! Suveen K. Sinha
Of The Zippie ! Anil Thakraney:
To Gorakhpur With All Guns Blazing ! Manu Joseph:
Generation Why ! Velu Shankar:
Bubble Wrap Cocoons ! Ajith Pillai:
Down? Who? ! Sanghamitra Chakraborty:
Next Stage Of Human Evolution ! Indrajit Hazra:
Genius'? Keep The Tag Intact ! Anil Ambani:
You Dream, You Can Do It" ! Saumya Roy:
Chawl And Mall Sanjoy Chatterjee:
World Is My Oyster ! Zippies:
They Want ! Javed and Farhan Akhtar:
All Have Our Struggles' ! Sadanand Menon:
Cow Disease Of Self-Consumption
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
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