In October, the Chinese government reversed its controversial one-child policy, tacitly acknowledging the economic and social burdens of an aging population. Meanwhile, in Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reveled in his country’s youth at the India-Africa Forum Summit: “Two-thirds of India and two-thirds of Africa is under the age of 35 years. And, if the future belongs to the youth, then this century is ours to shape and build.” As China grays, India stands to grow younger, hitting its demographic “sweet spot” in 2030. Will it prosper accordingly? In “The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young,” New York Times reporter Somini Sengupta puts faces to the figures “through the stories of ordinary Indian men and women who represent the yearnings of India’s most transformative generation.” However commonplace her premise, Ms. Sengupta’s observations and conclusions are thoughtful and timely.
By Maxwell Carter