What young urban Indians want: carpools, gender parity, and arranged marriages

Catch ’em young.
Catch ’em young.
Image: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool
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Young people in the world’s youngest democracy want to go beyond social media activism.

Over 80% Indian Gen Z and millennials have actively participated in citizen-led initiatives to help their neighbourhoods, according to MTV’s “Mera Bharat Amazeballs” survey. Activities like beach clean-ups, organising carpools, participating in government initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or tree plantation drives were popular among young Indians.

“Despite being a generation high on social media, the youth today is passionate, positive, action-oriented, and committed to create a society where everyone matters,” said Navin Shenoy, Viacom 18’s head of marketing for youth, music, and English entertainment.

The survey, which included responses from over 25,000 people between ages 15 and 25 from 400 towns, also found that young Indians feel women are given short shrift. In the context of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, 79% respondents said that women’s safety is still not given the priority it deserves.

At par

The attitude to gender, on the whole, seems to have evolved among young men and women.

Women are also leading the way in making families progressive.

Young Indian’s acceptance of homosexuality and queerness also appears to have improved, with 71% of millennials and Gen Z extending their support for the freedom to choose sexual partners. Within the family structure, 84% women said that their views were valued and taken seriously.

Traditional nostalgia

In what may seem counterintuitive to the progressive trend so far, several young Indians have shown a renewed affinity for the idea of arranged marriages.

Staying close to home is also a priority for India’s youth. While urban migration is a widespread phenomenon, development and financial and social mobility in smaller towns have taken the sheen away from big cities.