Pioneer, Sunday, March 14, 2010
Of the respondents,
four per cent are aged 20 years and below;
55 per cent are aged 30 and below;
31 per cent are 40 and below; and,
only 10 per cent are aged above 40.
In brief, 90 per cent of them are young Indians.
43 per cent are graduates (most of them from top-notch engineering, science and medical colleges);
46 per cent are post-graduates (a large number of them have MBA degrees from the best B-schools); and,
11 per cent have PhDs.
It is understandable that none of them is unemployed.
Those without jobs are still studying (17.3 per cent) and can be found in labs and classrooms of the best universities here and abroad.
Of the 82.7 per cent who are employed,
3.1 per cent earn up to Rs 2 lakh a year;
18.4 per cent earn up to Rs 6 lakh a year;
34.7 per cent earn up to Rs 12 lakh a year;
and, 26.5 per cent earn more than Rs 24 lakh a year.
Nearly 60 per cent of them frequently travel abroad on work and holiday.
Some 11 per cent have travelled abroad at least once.
First, the Net is beyond the control of those who control newspapers and news channels. While the print and audiovisual media have for long excluded contrarian opinion and denied space to those who disagree with absurd notions of 'secularism' or question the quality of reportage, the Net has provided space to the 'other' voice. Real time blog posts now record the 'other side' of the day's story ("The Prince was shouted down in Bihar, not feted by students!"), Twitter affords instant micro-blogging even as prime time news is being telecast ("That's not true. I live in Bareilly. This is not how the riots began!"), and YouTube allows unedited amateur videos of events (the Meraj riots, the Islamist violence in Kashmir Valley) to be uploaded, giving the lie to edited and doctored versions shown by news channels.
Third, the established elite, most of them middle-aged, are beginning to feel threatened. Here's a new breed of Indians who have used merit and not 'connections' to make a mark in professional excellence, young men and women who are educated and articulate, and are willing to challenge conventional wisdom as preached by media 'stars' who have rarely, if ever, been questioned. The elite who dominate newspapers and news channels are seen by 'Internet Hindus' as part of India's past, not future. As one 'Internet Hindu' writes in his blog, "A large number of ex-elite can't stomach fact that children of bankruptcy are better travelled, better read and dominate the Internet!" Harsh, but true.
Blog on this and other issues at http://kanchangupta.blogspot.com.
Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org