Snigdha Poonam in conversation with Ian Jack
600 million Indians, more than half the population, are 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.
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 — all united by the belief that they were born for bigger and better things. Dreamers brings to life their boundless ambition and extraordinary imagination to create opportunities in the unlikeliest of spaces.