India is widely recognised as a new global powerhouse. It has become one of the world’s emerging powers, rivalling China in terms of global influence. Yet people still know relatively little about the economic, social, political, and cultural changes unfolding in India today. To what extent are people benefiting from the economic boom? Does caste still exist in India? How is India’s culture industry responding to technological change? And what of India’s rapidly changing role internationally?
This Very Short Introduction looks at the exciting world of change in contemporary India. Craig Jeffrey provides a compelling account of the recent history of the nation, investigating the contradictions that are plaguing modern India and the manner in which people, especially young people, are actively remaking the country in the twenty-first century. One thing is clear: India is a country that is going to become increasingly important for the world over the next decades.
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Craig Jeffrey is Director and CEO of the Australia India Institute and a Professor of Human Geography at the University of Melbourne. He has formerly worked in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Seattle and Oxford. His research focuses on youth, education, and everyday politics in India and has published six books on this theme, including the acclaimed Timepass: Youth, Class and the Politics of Waiting in India (Stanford University Press, 2010).