Saturday, August 21, 2004

Young Workers Are Changing India (NYT)

In the debates over IT outsourcing that often involve Indian-based firms and workers (see below), it is important to take time to learn about the social processes at work in that nation and the diverse groups of people involved in their uneven geography of capitalism:

In a demographic bubble that is transforming Indian politics and society, 54 percent of India's one billion plus people are now under the age of 25. [...] They are a demographic behemoth but not a monolith. In interviews with 21 Indians under age 25 in modern high technology offices, derelict slums, rural villages and industrial cities across the country, young people expressed a clear split over how India could achieve greatness.

The division reflects the difficult mandate facing the new government, led by the Congress Party. As it pursues continuing growth and globalization, it must balance the rich and the poor, the old and the new.

It must reconcile the division between those who yearn for India's community-oriented quasi-socialist past and those who embrace the capitalist, Americanizing influences now present, between those who believe the profit motive fuels selfishness and greed, and those who believe it most efficiently allocates and expands resources.

Some young Indians are extravagantly successful, linked by technology to a globalizing world. More are poor, isolated from the rest of the world and frustrated by their exclusion from a narrow economic boom.

Read the full article at The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Young Workers Are Changing India

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