The Script Of a New India

India-shining was a phrase that toppled an Indian government in 2004. It was the cynical India voting against a government that they felt had not done enough for them and was claiming more than it had achieved. India today is an impatient country, and people have rising expectations and aspirations. This wasn’t always the case and it is interesting to see how the attitudes and culture have changed over the last 30 years.

Cinema has captured this evolution of India nicely. The narratives of the iconic youth movies from 1980s to 2011 closely reflect the economic growth story of a resurgent India.

Movies that tell a story of evolution of India
  • Deewar (1975) – Portrays the angry young Indian fighting the system and a conservative society, and getting frustrated at every turn since nothing is going his way.
  • QSQT (1988) – It started the trend away from the angry young Indian in Bollywood. Papa kehtain hai was pretty much an acknowledgment of choices that the youth had and reflected their urge to create their own future beyond the circumstance which they may have inherited
  • Dil chata hai (2001) – Besides making Bollywood cool for the first time, it made life look easy and happy. Societal expectations were a lot more liberal and there was no struggle for survival anymore. Sure the movie had an urban setting, but it was still aspirational for the whole of India.
  • ZNMD (2011) –The Indian youth never looked so cool and comfortable in their own skin. They were chasing a buzz and were willing to go anywhere or do anything to find it. They had become much more worldly wise. Everything seemed possible.

These cultural changes have obviously been driven on the back of economic growth of India. While we all know that India has been growing at a rate of 7-8% over the last decade, the astonishing fact is that the Per capita income has gone up by 3 times since 2002. Todays youth is confident about their future because of the massive opportunities that they have. These have been driven by an increase in the services industry in India– Service sector has grown from 15% of India’s GDP in 1980 to over 55% today, while Agriculture has declined from over 65% to less than 20% of our GDP.

Age distribution of India’s population – India’s biggest asset

This growth story of India is bound to continue into the future because of one single biggest factor – India’s population profile. In India, each younger age-group is larger in number than the older one. The implication of this simple fact is that more and more younger people will become productive as they grow older, which will power India forward. India is expected to hit its peak productivity by 2030. What was once India’s demographic burden has become its demographic dividend. In contrast, the largest age-group in China is 40-45 year old, and they will increasingly have lesser percentage of younger, and thus productive, people in their total population.

India’s success is guaranteed barring some catastrophic war or global calamity. India shining is our destiny. I wonder what will be the script of a bollywood movie and of this country in 2020.

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  1. @Samurai911 says:

    Blog on how India has changed over the last 30 years and what is in store for us – “The Script Of New India” – http://t.co/OXzOLaoL

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