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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The trend in Indian novels and the youth readership

Reading the novels that revisits the history and discover ancient myths, are predominantly popular among the youth in India. The trilogy of “Mehula” (The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi ) a myth based fiction is one of the bestsellers. The report in The Hindu newspaper states "As a nation grows confident, its people become more interested in their own history".

The Empire of the Moghul(series) by Alex Rutherford, Chanakya’s Chantby Ashwin Sanghi, The Palace of Illusionsby Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, and almost always something by Amitav Ghosh are blusting the chart. Two of these are retellings of mythological themes, while the others, which have been on the lists for at least a year now, are all, in one way or the other, set in a time and place in Indian history. Authors such as Amitav Ghosh, (famous forThe Calcutta Chromosome,The Glass Palace, andThe Sea of Poppiesand the ongoing Ibis

Trilogy, almost all of which have won literary awards), according to the Blossom bookstore, Bangalore, are staples for the city’s book-reading crowd. “His works are steady sellers. But recently, I see that mythology-based books such as The Immortals of Meluha and The Palace of Illusionsare selling a lot more,” says Mayi Gowda, proprietor, Blossom book store. He credits the sales to the ‘modern format’ that the authors follow.

Formulated in a phrase It’s difficult to put works such as The Immortals of Meluhaand Chanakya’s Chantunder the historical fiction category. Even their authors, Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi, are not happy classifying their works exclusively under this category. But they do agree that they have made a conscious attempt to keep their writing style ‘modern’. “By setting my books in the Indus Valley Civilisation and calling it that, rather than the traditional name ‘Jambudweepa’, I have tried to make the stories more relevant, so that people can connect to them,” admits Amish. But the real reason his books fly off the racks, he feels, is because Indians are now keen to explore their roots. “As a nation grows more confident, its people become more interested in their own history. At the same time, people are not interested in taking a history lesson, so they like to read something which draws from history and crafts an engaging story out of it,” he says. “Twenty years ago, historical fiction was written either from a subservient or a defensive perspective, both of which come from a space of insecurity. But today’s historical fiction comes from a space of relaxed confidence, which people are drawn to.” Though he says his works are more political thrillers rather than historical fiction, Ashwin Sanghi makes similar observations about the genre’s popularity. “For the longest time writers have been writing for a global audience. But today’s books are written for an Indian audience. A Western audience might not appreciate Chanakya’s Chant because of its dependence on history and ancient statecraft,” he explains. “My book is a modern-day thriller set on a bedrock of history. My primary object is to entertain, not educate.”

Contemporary stories with historical plots, therefore, seem to be the order of the day and Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’sThe Taj Conspiracyis one of the latest additions. Steeped in Mughal history, the thriller is the first of a trilogy. And Manreet’s reason for writing a book that falls broadly under the genre of historical fiction is quite straightforward. History buff “I am a history buff. My second book,The Long Walk Home, published in 2009, is the first fictional examination of the 20th century history of Punjab. History, therefore, has been a part of my storytelling and is an inextricable part ofThe Taj Conspiracy.I guess this fascination for history has to do with the small town that I grew up in, Ferozepur, which is located on the border of India and Pakistan and has witnessed Partition, three Indo-Pak wars and the Khalistan movement. It is impossible not to be touched by history when the air of the place you grow up in is suffused with its stories.” Much of Indian historical fiction is set in the Colonial or the Mughal era or during Partition. For instance Amitav Ghosh’s work in set in Colonial India and Salman Rushdie’s Booker prize-winningMidnight’s Childrenis set in the period of Indian independence (post-Colonial and Partition).

Are stories now moving away from traditional historical fiction, blurring the lines between genres like fantasy, mythology, crime and politics? Paul Vinay Kumar, Editor of Westland books, says, “Historical fiction as a genre has been vastly underdeveloped in India, which is ironical considering how interesting and diverse India’s history is, and also because our glorious past is systematically invoked by everyone as a pointer to our glorious future. I am a big fan of Amitav Ghosh, and Alex Rutherford. I wish there were more writers writing like that,” he says, observing that a variety of sub-genres like Madhulika Liddle’s historical detective novels, and historical romance are becoming popular. Manreet adds “The immense success of some recent books — the Meluha trilogy for instance — might give this impression, but it could also be a fad. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the genre grows.”

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