India’s young idolise a winner, are ambitious, believe in taking risks to reach their goals, and are happy being addicted to the social media. Paradoxically, they are also happy with the status quo, rate ‘enjoying life’ as their biggest goal (bigger than being a good family member), and take pride in being indifferent to politics.
These are the findings of the annual Hindustan Times MaRS Youth Survey — in its fifth year now — which polled more than 5,000 youngsters in the 18-25 age group across 15 state capitals and major Indian cities. Of the respondents, 48% said they would back the BJP and its allies if elections were to held today — Pune (82.5%), Jaipur (78.3%) and Ahmedabad (71.3%) overwhelmingly voting in favour of the ruling government at the Centre.
Among youngsters who backed the BJP and the NDA in the 2014 polls, a high 84.8% said they’d again vote for the alliance, as against 64.7% who said they’d back the Congress and its allies.
India’s young also picked Narendra Modi (51.7%) as a bigger political icon than Arvind Kejriwal (10.1%), Sonia Gandhi (7.1%) and Mamata Banerjee (5.7%). Only 3.5% of respondents voted for Rahul Gandhi in this category.
More than half of the respondents said they are now more ambitious and socially conscious than the previous generation, but 13.6% said they are not at all optimistic about India’s future. Job profile, work environment and money are the major influences on their career choice, and 75% felt that there are no opportunities to move up quickly in life even if one is talented. A high 81.3% said they have failed to strike the ideal work-life balance.
The survey has many more startling insights into the psyche of India’s youth — about life, consumerism, social media, politics and role models. We detail them in a five-part series starting Monday.
Here's the first part: Politics | A thumbs down to the ‘neta’ game