Author Shares Insights On India Youth Culture

On Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, the UCF Global Perspectives Office and The India Center at UCF hosted Somini Sengupta, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Sengupta discussed her book, The End of Karma: Hope and Fury among India’s Young.

Sengupta emigrated from Kolkata to California as a young child in 1975. She returned 30 years later as the first Indian-American bureau chief in New Delhi for The New York Times. A George Polk Award-winning journalist, Sengupta now covers the United Nations, and previously served as the bureau chief in Dakar. In her time as a foreign correspondent, she has reported from a Himalayan glacier, a Congo River ferry, the streets of Baghdad and Mumbai, and many places in between.

When Sengupta returned to India in 2005, she found a vastly different country from the one she and her parents left. The number of Indians under age 35 surpasses the combined population of the United States, Great Britain and France. Approximately one million Indians turn 18 every month. In The End of Karma, Sengupta explores 21st century India through the stories of the young, hungry and hopeful in India. Keen to write their own destinies, driven by aspiration and thwarted at every step by state and society, India’s young are making new demands on India’s democracy.

Sengupta spotlights the stories of several ordinary men and women, creating a penetrating, personal look at contemporary India. In an NPR interview, Sengupta explained, “They’re all stories of incredible grit and resilience and great hope, but also a bit of fury — quite a bit of fury, which is why the subtitle of the book is ‘Hope and Fury among India’s Young.’”

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