About INgene blog : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog

About INgene : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog:
This blog explores the detailed characteristics of Young-India and explains the finer & crucial differences they have with their global peers. The blog also establishes the theory of “adopted differentiation” (Copyright Kaustav SG,2007) and how the Indian & Inglodian youth are using this as a tool to differentiate themselves from the “aam aadmi” (mass population of India) to establish their new found identity.

The term youth refers to persons who are no longer children and not yet adults. Used colloquially, however the term generally refers to a broader, more ambiguous field of reference- from the physically adolescent to those in their late twenties.
Though superficially the youth all over the world exhibits similar [degree of] attitude, [traits of] interests & [deliverance of] opinion but a detailed observation reveals the finer differential characteristics which are crucial and often ignored while targeting this group as a valued consumer base. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less then 24 years of age and is charted as the most prospective destination for the retail investment in the A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Opportunity Report, 2007. With the first ever non-socialistic generation’s thriving aspiration & new found money power combined with steadily growing GDP, bubbling IT industry and increasing list of confident young entrepreneurs, the scenario appears very lucrative for the global and local retailers to target the “Youngisthan” (young-India). But, the secret remains in the understanding of the finer AIOs of this generation. The Indian youth segment roughly estimates close to 250million (between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five) and can be broadly divided (socio-psychologically) into three categories: the Bharatiyas, the Indians & the Inglodians (copyright Kaustav SG 2008). The Bharatiyas estimating 67% of the young population lives in the rural (R1, R2 to R4 SEC) areas with least influence of globalization, high traditional values. They are least economically privileged, most family oriented Bollywood influenced generation. The Indians constitute 31.5% (A, B,C, D & E SEC) and have moderate global influence. They are well aware of the global trends but rooted to the Indian family values, customs and ethos. The Inglodians are basically the creamy layers (A1,A SEC) and marginal (1.5% or roughly three million) in number though they are strongly growing (70% growth rate). Inglodians are affluent and consume most of the trendy & luxury items. They are internet savvy & the believers of global-village (a place where there is no difference between east & west, developing & developed countries etc.), highly influenced by the western music, food, fashion & culture yet Indian at heart.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Discussion about India and contemporary youth culture

My ongoing discussion with Linkesh a.k.a Swift Arrow (Another Indian Youth) :

Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM, kaustav sen wrote:

Dear Linkesh,

Thanks for your detailed mail in spite of the fact tht u don’t have a system at home.
I am sorry for the delayed reply cause of my pre packed schedule.

While talking about the Indian culture customs values and etiquettes I think you have forgotten a very prime one being taught at the core of all Indian family…
That the elders should not be called by names ;)
and when the elder is a teacher then the rule becomes further strict…

Don’t worry, was joking.
Yes some of the customs and culture always needs a re evaluation and evolution…
at NIFT, NID or any design institute we encourage the students to call the professors by name…cause that makes the bonding much easier (hence the transformation of knowledge becomes easy) …though at our sashtra it states tht the guru should be respected as guru in certain ways and norms…

Today very few youth touches feet...I think tht should be kept in an individual, to decide how he / she will show gratitude...even before touching feet thr was a rule of "sasthang pranama" means showing gratitude by laying down at feet...those are no more needed cause now a days the "gyan" or wisdom is not restricted to one person (the pandit / guru/ king) but to all...and through net gyan is further open to spread and accept...and moreover, today we are the largest democratic country, hence we don’t need to touch ones feet to show gratitude...if one feels so, tht should be very natural...should be with absolute respect...and if today the teenagers are not touching feet tht means the elders are not able to keep tht respect (not through rule but through wisdom)...its not the fault of the youth but the earlier generation.

Same go’s to the cast system we had earlier…and currently we are re-evaluating it and trying to understand whether its at all needed to be followed or not…

To me, the customs, believes and values should be re evaluated (and questioned) in each era as per the passing time and zeitgeists…

The way we looked at our leaders / politicians during the freedom movement is being changed along with the time…now ppl says khadi and khaki destroyed our country…

Through the pictures in the header I want to show a picture of progressing India. The "cool Indians" what you are seeing at header are either the students from IIT, IIM, NIFT, NID or the successful professionals at their very early age…the attitude they r showing is important to me cause tht shows they are confident of whatever they r doing (not feeling shy and confidence-less thinking “oh, am I looking a good boy…or oh what my parents will think…”)..and u should agree that these students are the one who not only comes from rich families (actually most of the IITans are from middle class) but also from the interiors of India. I respect all of them for what they have achieved….

its a foul cry to just think of the darkness of the country rather than understanding the brighter side of it.

If you go further in my blog you will find the details of Sarath (http://ingene.blogspot.com/2009/04/indian-youth-and-politics_23.html ) who’s mom worked as maid servant in various homes to get him into IIM and today he is the successful entrepreneur (recently coming in politics... I welcome his initiative).
I respect him for what he is…and all of them who achieved it rather than keep crying of what they don’t have.

Again you will find the news of a fisherman’s son earning the highest rank in board exam ( http://ingene.blogspot.com/2009/05/academics-and-career-are-most-important.html )…they are the real Bharatiyas.

The trend I was talking is a lifestyle trend which starts with the priority class (the Inglodians) and the lifestyle need not be always adopted. Again, a lifestyle depends on the surroundings. You have cited example of International school. The incidents what you have cited are very common in various other institutions in our country and abroad (I have seen it in Australia, USA, UK and yes France)…only whether you are adopting it or not is your decision…if “they” are comfortable with it and is not harming the others we have nothing to say. The freedom should be absolute…

The values what you are talking are the values being taught to you. But if you go through veda’s you will find the eternal values were very different…the moulding happened during the era of bramhins who wanted to control the society through the religious and custom grip…and hence moulded the cast system (earlier the cast system was only a job division)

You can read my note to Ted Polhemus at : http://www.worldstylefile.com/1/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30&Itemid=47

Meanwhile if you are interested to know more about Indian youth you can read my articles published in The Hindu: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/catalyst/2008/12/11/stories/2008121150070300.htm

Best regards,


--- On Tue, 6/23/09, Swift Arrow wrote:

Dear Kaustav,

Thanks for your reply.

Re, My Created Identity: My name is Linkesh Diwan. I'm a student of engineering in Kerala. Yes I don't like false identities either. However, the name Swift Arrow is very dear to me, as it was given to me by a very old (now deceased) friend. So it's not exactly a "Created Identity" in that I didn't make it myself. And I don't hide behind it, it's just another name for me. :)

You are right in that I did not go deeply into the blog's contents. For this there are primarily three reasons:
1. I saw the pictures in the header and judged the blog by it's cover. However, i'm not apologetic about this, as I think that your header pictures are woefully myopic in that they only present one part of "cool Indians". Personally, and I know that I'm not alone, I do NOT think that being cool involves breaking all cultural norms and norms of decency (this is with specific reference to those guys showing the finger). Personally, those two guys tell me "reactionary" which, while such attitudes are commonly associated with being cool, is really just being rebellious. It speaks (psychologically speaking) of a lack of will to understand sensibilities and a paucity of respect for decency.

2. I did start to read your blog, but found the visual layout a little untraditional and somewhat confusing. For starters, there was no very clear demarcation between different entries, though I understood where one ended and another started by the content. I also didn't find the titles of different blog entries. Conventionally, (and you I'm sure already know this) each entry on a blog starts with it's title, in a noticeable header, with a link to a page containing only that post. I wasn't able to find that link, so was confused.

3. I'm at a cafe, not at home where I have unlimited access, and so am trying to be as speedy as possible. My apologies for not giving your blog a more in-depth assessment before passing judgment.
Now in response to your email. Disclaimer: I have not met you, so all that I say about "you" below is actually a generalization on the richer upper-class young Indian. Please bear with :)

I also do not subscribe to the "India needs sympathy and big help" theories and views out there. India really needs, as you rightly say, confidence in herself.

But I would like to question whether being a confident Indian means that we drink Coke, watch movies, adopt foreign dress and mannerisms, adhere to foreign values, and be rash, unbridled, youth!

Now, put in this light, I know that you will say "no". Here may I ask you: Would'nt you rather wear the newest Nike shoes? Dont tell me that you don't like Eminem, U2, and others. Why buy a Nimbu Paani when you can get Pepsi, Coke, or even better, Mountain Dew? Why should we touch our parent's feet before leaving the house - it's old-fashioned, and silly! Let's find our girlfriends and go to a party, drink, smoke, and have a "good time".

As you can see, the above paragraph (in a drastic sense) outlines the lives of your "Inglodians", who, as you yourself point out, everyone looks up to. But is such a progression good for India?

Another thing, about being on par with global peers:
I have a friend who went to an international school for her 11th and 12th. This school is supposed to foster an International "Culture." While the culture of acceptance and opportunities for everyone that the world admires in the USA WAS encouraged there, there was much more: In her hostels, boys and girls were allowed to mix freely, wearing as much or as little as they wanted, and doing whatever they felt. This included having sex. My friend's roommate’s boyfriend practically lived in her room. In their yearbook, my friend showed me pictures of her classmates: one guy was completely naked save for a plaster of Paris cast around his penis. He was in the process of creating a mould of it. I later on met some of her classmates, and found them to be very nice people, agreed, but they had no stops on them. They undressed as and when they felt like (including one girl baring her self while walking down the hallway in an ashram - this I personally witnessed) and generally behaved in a very offending way. These kids, in their two years of international school in INDIA, learned NOTHING about sensibilities to other peoples culture. They had no idea that they should conduct themselves in a decorous manner. Their attitude, which an Indian international school had taught them, was that everyone can do whatever they want, and no-one has right to question that or be offended. This is not International Culture. I lived 12 years in the USA, I should know. Even Americans would take offence at such behaviour. This is an absurd banality, an absolute negation of all culture whatsoever.

A real international culture would inculcate children with such manners that they would offend no-one, no matter what culture they happened to visit!

And while India and Inglodians march towards such types of cultureless-ness, spending money, wasting energy, and behaving in a generally irresponsible way, 80% of the world's people live on less than $10 per day (A statistic I found somewhere on the World Health Commission's website). That means out of 10 randomly selected people in the world, EIGHT of them are hungry at ANY given time. Please figure out how the Inglodian's way of life helps those people.

Of course, there is a good side too: Inglodians will of course have a more open mindset, they will be willing and able to discuss tacky issues, they will be able to jump at opportunities, adopt themselves, and will have the broadness of mind to accept that others can advance in society.

How many Inglodians have domestic help at their homes? How many of them take the time to ensure that the children of their domestic help get good food, education, and a chance at life?

I realize that my email is somewhat of a rant, however these are valid points that must be considered. I'm sure that some things I've said, while I have not intended to, may raise people's ire.

But let everyone honestly examine themselves. The bigger picture is a lot bigger than Inglodians whom everyone follows. In-fact, not everyone follows Inglodians.

Inglodians themselves, for the most part, follow the ideas that they receive from TV. If TV had always held Indian tradition to be cherished, and showed a more traditional way of life, India would be very different, would it not?

I notice that you are a professor in Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories. I guess that I may be striking at the root of your beliefs, please do not be offended. Personally, and I am not alone in this, I find today’s fashion too predicated on the assumption that everyone must be sexually attractive. Also, our lifestyle accessories (phones, ipods, gadetry, nice shoes, cool bags, dyed hair, spikes, chains, etc) really have no relation to the huge number of people who are hungry today.

Anyhow, Enough. I must put the brakes on somewhere!
As a student, to a professor, my regards.
I look forward to your reply,
PS, I did benefit from your blog in learning about the young MP. Thanks!

On Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 9:39 AM, kaustav sen wrote:

Dear swift,

Thanks for your mail.

This blog is intended to research the socio-cultural trend among Indian youth, and I have clearly divided them into three categories: Inglodians, Indians and Bharatiyas( you can read the detail explanations in the blog)...

I think you have not gone through the whole blog posts, otherwise you would have found that the blog also presented on the academic passion of all social classes of India...the amazing skills of street youth...the family values and the level of happiness...

It's not a site to generate sympathy/ sensitize the world about "how DARK India is...and how badly the bharatiya youth r treated...bla bla"...when a trend is to be understood we generally follow the "innovators" or a group of youth who initiates a trend. and the rest follows...in my blog they r known as "Inglodians".

Through this blog I want to show that Indian youth are at per their global peers....the worst part among us are that we are not CONFIDENT about our own ability...and hence we keep crying.

and ya, please write with your own name, instead of hiding behind "created identity"....I hate it and it shows the lack of confidence. Again.
best regards,


--- On Mon, 6/22/09, Swift Arrow wrote:

Hey Kaustav,
I stumbled across your blog. Nice Initiative.

My first thought when I examined those pictures was: What about the 66% of Indian Youth that don't feed themselves every day?

You've got cool guys giving the finger, Dancers with Mobile Phones, Well fed people playing holi, boys and girls acting "cool" together. Do you know that you are representing only about 10% of Indian youth in that ensemble? and that 66% of Indians (Including youth) do not have access to a proper toilet? (According to a statistic given in the Hindu Newspaper)?

Please, at least acknowledge the majority of Indian youth, who far from being concerned with the latest gadgets and bands, are looking for something to feed themselves.

Looking forward to discussing this further,
Swift Arrow,
Another Indian Youth

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