III        Indian Diaspora

Super-rich Indians turn London suburb into ‘Millionaires Row’:  Super-rich Indians in Britain are transforming a London suburb into what has been described as a ‘Millionaires Row’ where most properties are being bought by Indians who have prospered in business and other walks of life.  Houses in Astons Road in Northwood in West London are being sold for 5 million pounds each – and most of them are being bought by people of Indian origin.  The homes include indoor swimming pools, marble stair cases and extravagant landscaped gardens.   (Times of India, 30 October 2006, p.18)

26.       Indian youths among the happiest: Survey: Young Indians are amongst the happiest – the most religious – people on the planet today says a study of the MTV generation.  60% of Indians 16-34 year olds are joyful following the Argentinians, Mexiacans and Indonesians.  Japanese young are utterly miserable with only 8% claiming to be happy and 76% do not have any religious inclination at all.  The survey was done among 5400 young people in 14 countries – Argentina, Braxil, China, Demark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the US.  (Rashmee Roshal Lall, Times of India 21 November 2006, p. 1)

22.       Maxed, The Life of Wi:  Bangalore will become the second global city in early 2007 next only to Taipei to go full wireless and fully Wi-Max enabled.  Wi-Max: acronym for Worldwide Interoperabilty for Microwave Access.  Chennai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad are other cities that are planning to become Wi-Max enabled.  From dial up connection to broad band connection to Wi-Fi has lead to this Wi-Max innovation.  Wi-Max is data communication that is similar to mobile telephony.  Wi-Max will help users roam around multiple networks for miles, similar to mobile phones, without the connection dropping for kilometres.  There will be 30 metre towers and base station, similar to the ones for mobile phones.  Wi-Max could make broadband access to even rural areas.  Pricing will be about Rs. 250 per month but completely wireless.   (Sugata Srinivasaraju, Outlook 20 November 2006, p. 80-82)

19.       Wired Generation:  Today’s teenagers are causing concern because of the hours they spend multi-tasking with their gadgets, TV and the Net. M-Generation is the first wave of wired teenagers who are media-obsessed, tech-savvy, are current focus of research around the world because they do media multi-tasking, a majority between four and eight hours a day.  Those between the age of 12 and 21 are the first generation to feel that technology is an integral part of their lives and not just a nice thing to own.  Today’s switched-on teens stoutly defend multi-tasking and brag about listening to the iPod, messaging, watching TV and surfing the Net all at the same time.  Perhaps young minds can handle all the stimuli simultaneously.  The question that rises is whether they could retain that is important and ignore that are non-essential.  Can media meet their emotional needs? 

Some teenagers have become dependent on these gadgets and get irritated when they are not there.  Technological trappings could cause health problems and a weak physical constitution.  These electronic gadgets disconnect the M-Generation from peers and family.  Internet is used by teenagers to download tutorials, doing research work or project works and music that are stress buster.  Gadgets tend to become their lives instead of being part of their lives.  70% of parents surveyed agreed that their teenage children influence in choosing brand for purchasing items like computers.  Students think that Internet as necessity and not as indulgence.  A survey done by Cartoon Network in 2004 revealed that 40 per cent of Indian children are computer literate and use computers.  Long time spent by teenagers before computers means lack of development of soft skills.  They are poor in interacting with others, developing healthy interpersonal relationships and sense of identity.  Indian Academy of Paediatrics found an average Indian child spends more hours in front of TV in a week – 30 hours than in school – 25 hours in school.  Parents could not withhold these gadgets as more and more children own it.  When there is overall exposure of gadgets, the generation tends to become smarter.  Teenagers who are multi-tasking are also good in problem solving but they have serious problem of attention span.  In the long run multi-tasking affect the ability to maintain concentration and focus.  Teenagers without cell phone means being with a missing limb. This new generation is smarter, confident and is more tuned to global trends.  Teenagers could conquer wired world, but same technology could crash and burn them also.  (Dilip Bobb, India Today, 20 November 2006, P.48-60)

17.       Men in a muddle:  India Today –Ac Nielsen-Org-Marg did a survey of men in the age group between 16-25.  A sample of 2559 males across 11 cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Patna, Ludhiana, Kolkata and Chennai were surveyed. The survey looks at sexuality not just as an intimate, deeply personal act between two individuals, but also as a form of consumption.  The three major topics for discussion are movies, studies and fashion.  Discussion of sex with female friends ranks sixth except in Delhi, which tops the trend in sharing lewd jokes with women.  Money worries and career woes figure in domestic conversations, while peer groups focus on the frivolous.  Parents seem to be fairly liberal about relationships but 66 per cent object to late nights.  Except in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur, men feel women in their home have almost equal rights.   46% single males have had sex, 10% higher than the 2004 survey.  37% single young men have had a homosexual experience, compared to 31% in 2004.  63% single men expect the woman they marry to be a virgin, 10% lower than 2004.  49% young men have had sex with sex worker. 

Ludhiana city has the highest at 63% The average budget when going out with friends ranges from Rs. 100-150.  Men think grooming, body building, smoke, drink and throwing parties attract girls.  26% are perfectly fine with premarital sex; 42 say it depends on commitment while 26% say it is wrong.  Restaurant, parks, friends homes and own homes the are order of meeting places.  Fear of manhandling by moral police is highest in Delhi (32%) and Hyderabad (26%). 92% of young men in Mumbai use a mobile phone. 47% consider sex as very important while 33 consider it as important.  The average age of the first sexual encounter is dropping, most men having initiated between 16 and 20.  11% are bisexual.  At least 49 per cent confess to at least one encounter with sex workers.  Disconcertingly, 14 per cent claim to have had sex with family members.  Eighty one percent of young men do not personally own credit cards. Most young men meet girls in college, though the boys in Chennai are as likely to have met girls who live in the same neighbourhood or girls who have been introduced by family members.  Chennai neigbourhoods may be more homogeneous in terms of caste affiliations and the girl next door is considered an appropriate friend.  Pornography is exchanged within the group like cigarettes and coffee, bringing boys together in a shared circle of friendship.  Almost 50 per cent discuss sex and relationships with their male friends. In the low income areas in the city, groups of young men who have dropped out of school because they could not cope with English and Maths roam around in small groups, repeatedly discussing ways of becoming rich.  Parents of adolescent girls consider these young men to be a great danger to their daughters and so restrict the movement of girls in all sorts of ways.  (Sex Survey Essay, India Today 13 November 2006 p. 36-76)

13.       Madras being malled:  Chennai is being malled to create 21st century Chennai.  An estimated 23 malls offering 8 million square feet of retailing space are expected to come up in next three years to add to the one million square feet already in place in the city.  An additional three million square feet is planned for the suburbs.  Most of these malls are expected to have multiplexes and all of them will have food courts to draw in the crowd and capitalize on the walk –in shopper.  The following malls are in the various stages of development:  The Allied Mall, Ampa Centre I and II,  Chennai Central mall, Coromandel Plaza,  Forum Vijaya Mall, Gateway, Riverside Mall, Town centre, Arenes Gold Souk Mall, Business Centre, DLF, ECCI Mall, Gee Gee Kushaldas, Kalpathi Mall, Mahindra Mall, Orchid Mall, Ozone Mall, Real Value Promoters, Shriram Mall and Unitech Mall.   (Madras Musing, 1-15 November 2006, p.1 and 7)

Global Urban Vision – December 2006

(Compiled and Published by J.N. Manokaran  (jnmanokaran@yahoo.com ) on behalf of Glocal Resources Development Associates)

 WORD FROM THE EDITOR

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