Young and restless: Meet India’s new radicals

  • Paramita Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Mar 10, 2013 00:58 IST

Afroze Sahil, 25, a tailor’s son, is from Champaran, “where bullets fly more than in Wasseypur”. He came to Delhi in 2005, studied in Jamia, joined the Campaign Against Bribery in 2006 and became a full-fledged RTI activist since the 2008 Batla House encounter.

With those like Afroze in mind, writer Paul Mason writes in his blog on 21st century protesters, Twenty Reasons Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, that the graduate with an uncertain future is the new sociological type. Mason argues that for today’s students, “free time is minimal… precarious part-time jobs are essential to their existence”.

In 2001, India’s youth population stood at 422 million; 286 million of them urban youth. Since the Anna Hazare movement and, more recently, the Delhi gang rape protests, this section has been most vocal.

This is also the section staring at widespread unemployment, which fuels their discontent. The World Development Report by the World Bank in 2012 said India’s youth unemployment — as a percentage of the youth work force — was 9.9% for males and 11.3% for females in 2010.

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