The evening will begin with a short presentation by the author who will later be joined by comedian and National Award winning lyricist Varun Grover. The event will also include a special performance by Swadesi, a group of young emcees, producers, DJs and graffiti artists who through their art and music aim at bringing about change.
Snigdha Poonam’s book, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World and Yours, is a journey through the aspirations of six young Indians in small towns and villages. Here, she speaks to six acclaimed young writers of the hopes and frustrations of this generation and their search to create new options—economic, political and cultural—in new and unlikely spaces.
Snigdha Poonam in conversation with Ian Jack
More than half of India’s population, some 600 million people, is under twenty-five. This generation lives between extremes: more connected and global than ever, but with narrow ideas of Indian identity; raised with the cultural values of their grandparents, but the life goals of American teenagers. These dreamers are the face of a new India. Angry, and frustrated with being marginalised by both globalisation and India’s old politics, they place hope in the Modi government’s exclusionary nationalism and, above all, in their personal truths: shape your own future; exploit, or be exploited.
Journalist Snigdha Poonam tracks these young fortune-seekers—aspiring Bollywood stars and clickbait gurus, the Cow Protection Army hoodlums and Allahabad University’s first female Student Union President since Independence—all united by the belief that they were born for bigger and better things. Poonam’s new book Dreamers brings to life their boundless ambition and extraordinary imagination to create opportunities in the unlikeliest of spaces.
Join us for an evening at Asia House with journalist Snigdha Poonam, in partnership with SOAS South Asia Institute for the launch of this exciting new book. The author will be in conversation with the BBC’s Nomia Iqbal. The talk will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception.