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.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

WHAT is a daughter? : an article by a millennial Indian

No, I’m not about to define a daughter. That’s not where I’m going. My objective is to drive your focus to the choice of interrogative pronoun that I just used. “What” rather than “Who”. And most of our Indian people would go on to answering that question, never realizing that the “what” just reduced a female from a person to an object. But why does this objectification of women run so deep in our culture? Right now, I’m not talking about the objectification of women in cinema and advertisements. That is a separate topic of debate. But right now, I’m talking about the objectification of women that is deep rooted in our religious texts. Majority of our population may not have read these texts themselves, and may not be as strictly religious, and may not follow all day-to-day religious practices, but still follow some customs under the guidance of the religious pastor on some special occasions like mundan (customary shaving of a baby’s head), sanskaar (funeral rites) and different kinds of havan (this one could form a separate list). Not going into the essential meanings and reasons of these rites, let’s move onto the one that binds two people, and subsequently their families, into a LIFE-LONG BOND – Marriage.

Very recently, I attended my cousin’s marriage ceremony – an overnight affair of mantra and phere that none of the witnesses can understand, and who are just sitting there to witness the couple performing some actions on the pandit’s command. And that’s when my contempt for a custom was sparked anew as I heard the mention of “kanya daan”. For anyone who does not know, it’s direct translation means “girl donation”. Done by a girl’s father or the next elder male member of the family (along with his wife), it is regarded as the donation of the highest order – the one that would earn the donor the most punya (credit of doing good deeds). The religious texts of Hinduism – which I haven’t read myself, nor anybody in my extended family as far as I know, but whose teachings we hear all around us, translated by those who claim to have read them – declare a female as a property, an object of ownership. How? Because you can only donate what you own.

And talk about the vachan (vows) of marriage exchanged by the bride and groom, which are probably the only part of the whole ceremony that we can understand as the pandit translates them into the commonly spoken language for the benefit of the couple (because you can’t really make a vow without knowing the terms of that vow which were mentioned by a different person in a language that you don’t understand, right?), these vows sound like the terms of a 50-Shades-of-Grey style of BDSM contract for LIFETIME! (which still wouldn’t be as sick if the terms were enunciated by the couple themselves and mutually agreed upon after negotiation). BDSM is actually sane and gives the highest regard to consent. But these vows? They roughly translate into telling the woman that she will no longer be her own person. Seriously!! One of the vows that the bride is supposed to make states that she is not supposed to go to a park or garden or lakeside without the “permission” of her husband or his family. And the rest of the vows are also along the same lines. They bind a woman to “taking permission”, which is different from “informing your folks of your whereabouts”. These vows are basically telling a woman that she is not supposed to make her own decisions. Just consider having to depend on your husband’s or in-laws’ permission to go to the mall. How stupid does that sound? Or controlling. This leads me to realize how the Hindu marriage system is actually a Power-exchange dynamic that all the people sign up for at the time of their marriage without even realizing it. And we don’t see our modern wives taking on the submissive role in the relationship, nor the husbands being the dominant ones. The modern youth believes in equal status and responsibilities of both man and woman within a relationship which leads me to believe that most of them just go with the flow of the mantras and agree to such vows just to complete the formalities of the marriage ceremony. “How many of your marriage vows did you actually believe in and still practice?” I ask you, my readers, who have been married. If we aren’t exactly practicing what we vowed to do, then where’s our integrity? What’s the value of our words?

Coming back to what the religion preaches, despite all that is preached about respecting women as mothers, we can all agree that it regards the females as second-class citizens – always a male’s “amaanat” (possession, property), passed on from one male (the father) to another (the husband) as a donation, and always subject to the male’s permission for her life’s smallest of decisions. But as the modern youth who no longer believe in such patriarchal norms, isn’t it our duty to bid them away even from the customs and formalities? Why not make our own vows that we mutually consent to abide by as a couple, or revamp the old customary vows according to our modern beliefs, rather than nodding to whatever the pastor says when we don’t really agree with them? Why lose the integrity of our vows?

As for those who might be worried about losing out on the punya of the most sacred donation, no need to fret. Let me introduce you to the highest order of donation in the modern world – Organ Donation. Yes, the highest, because your one pledge can save 8 different lives and improve another 50. And this is a true form of donation, NOT controlling a woman’s life in the name of some rusty norms.  A daughter is not your property. So, go to one of the organ donation websites and pledge to donate your organs. And while you are at it, also pledge to do away with sick customs like girl-donation aka kanya-daan.

Author Lipika Aggrawal is a millennial Indian who has expressed her views on modern Indian society and gender disparity

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Plight of a Young Girl who is Looking to Buy her First Vibrator

Are you a girl? Great! Born in India? Even greater! Well, are you a sexual being? Uh, that doesn’t make a good combination. Duh, this is India, girl. Here, you are not supposed to have an ounce of sexuality, not before marriage. And well if you do, guess what new status you attain in the minds of your conservative-minded parents?

Congratulations! You are ready to be tied in the bonds of marriage with a guy of their choosing.

Well, most of the females in our country do not even discover their sexuality (at least till the time they are faced with the man who is going to be their prospective sex partner for life), to explore it is further off the gird. And I doubt what becomes of it after marriage is anything more than fulfilling their duties to their pati parmeshwar (husband raised to the status of God).

If you are one of the luckier ones who discovered her sexuality during her adolescence, be ready to be stupefied by the numerous “should-not”s that the taboo-stricken Indian society has to offer you.

Dating is unthinkable
Having a relationship is unacceptable
Having a live-in relationship? Only happens in the lives of “celebrities”
Talking about sex is bad
Talking about periods to a guy or guys? What? Who does that!?
Going out to party is wrong
Masturbation is unnatural
Wanting to buy a sex toy? Well, from where do such thoughts even come into your head!!!

Are you one of the lucky ones who have been able to debate yourself into reaching the conclusion that masturbation is natural, healthy and the safest form of sexual pleasure, and that indulging yourself for sexual satisfaction is not a crime? Congrats! A pat on your back!

Now that you have grown up a bit and learnt to accept your sexuality, explored all you could with your hands and your mind reading erotica and watching porn, you want to go for something more than your own fingers; a vibrating sensation that is more satisfying than your mobile phone’s. But where do you go?

There are no physical shops, not that I am aware of, where you could go browsing and purchasing adult toys. Google for buying vibrators in India and you get several links to e-commerce sites, both adult ones as well as the popular ones like Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart. But your friendly neighborhood e-retailers cannot sell sex toys by the name of sex toys, not in INDIA. So, all the vibrators that turn up in the list of available products on Amazon, for instance, are named as “vibrator massagers” for your back, neck, head, even face and eye-bags, yes! And mind you, these are the vibrators that turn up even when you clearly mention that you are looking for “sexual vibrators”. And you are left wondering if that lipstick-lookalike vibrator will actually work the way you intend to use it.

Well, I know what you would be thinking by now. Why don’t you go a proper adult-toy site, girl? Go to one of the websites that explicitly call themselves a dealer in adult products, and you would either find a little word to the left of the site’s URL that says that this site is “Not Secure” (which is less occurring since I conducted a search few months back), or you find secure sites that would list out highly expensive products. Not planning to invest in a good expensive vibrator as your first one, you look for the cheapest options, but even they seem out of your expected budget. You wonder where is that below-a-thousand-bucks lipstick-lookalike vibrator that you have heard some people mention to you before. Oh yes, there it is under the mini vibrator section, and it costs… 900 bucks (discounted from its original price of 1200 bucks). But wait…. Isn’t this the same “eye massager” from Amazon that cost just 150 bucks (discounted from its original price of 500 bucks)? Yep, it is! EXACTLY THE SAME!!! But with such a disparity of cost! Not a disparity of just the discounted price, but that of the original price as well! Do these people have any standards to set prices of sex toys? What if they’re just fooling us with listing whatever price they desire, even for the other products? How do I know the real price of a product? There’s no trustworthy source! The trustworthy ones like Amazon and Flipkart don’t give you so many options under their “modified” names of vibrators. Even the sexual wellness site Durex lists only three products which cater to only males’ or couples’ needs.

Revolving among the top-listed adult toy websites that explicitly call themselves so, now we know that a good quality vibrator is not going to be within your existing budget of a thousand bucks, not even the double of it, unless you are satisfied with paying over a thousand bucks for a lipstick-lookalike one. And we still do not know the authenticity of these prices. But we’ve got no choice than to succumb to their demands.

Next step? Save Up! Now this can be a little easy or difficult depending on your pocket money and your expenses. Oh wait, who are we kidding? We all have our pocket money designed to fit our expenses. I don’t know how much of your expenses you could cut out to save for a vibrator in case you’re one of those who get a bigger amount of pocket money than most 20 years old kids (well, kids in the sense that we’re non-earning), but a couple hundred saved every month from my meagre pocket money is not gonna help me at least. Oh, and did I say it was a problem only for the non-earning community? Nope. In my case, even my own earned paycheck (as a fresher) goes into my bank account which… is taken care of by my mother. So, we’re back to square one. You can’t withdraw your money just the way you can’t ask them money for a vibrator.

Next option? Gotta figure out something else, as expensive as your toy, for which you could ask them for money, but which you wouldn’t have to show them as an evidence that you bought it. That’s tough to do for something priced around 4-5 thousand rupees. But if you have an idea, do share.

The next hurdle you face is that of the delivery address. Although the retail sites say that the package would be discreet with no mention of the product inside, you just can’t receive a package without your family members finding out about it. You’re lucky if you are living out alone in a PG or a rented flat, but if you’re someone like me - living with your parents, one of whom is always home - it’s time to think of all your friends and come up with at least one who could be your trusty and receive the product for you and let you collect it without asking too many questions or judging you for what’s inside. Sounds easy? Or hard? Well, if you ask me, I can’t think of any of my friends who I could ask for such a favor. I’m too conscious of revealing that I am sexual enough to want a vibrator.

And all this hassle because this is INDIA – “the land of culture”.

This article was written by Ingene's millennial author Lily. 
Lily, in her early twenties, is a free-spirited modern Indian girl who believes that talking about sex, not only in terms of sexual health but also in terms of sexual pleasure, should not be taboo.
To read about her own journey of embracing her sexuality, you can visit https://bdsmadventuresofavirgin.wordpress.com