India's new generation offers hope for the future | Bangkok Post: opinion

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India's new generation offers hope for the future

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  • Newspaper section: News
  • Writer: Sanjeev Sanyal
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Last month, Raghuram Rajan was appointed governor of the Reserve Bank of India. On one level, this was a routine announcement that many had anticipated _ after all, Mr Rajan is arguably the best-known Indian economist of his generation. On another level, however, his appointment can be seen as part of a broader generational shift. Mr Rajan, just 50, will be the first RBI governor born after India became a republic in 1950. 

Similar changes are taking place in all walks of Indian life, including politics, the arts, sports, and social development. And India will be better for it. Although the country is one of the youngest in the world, with an average age of just 26 years, until recently ageing stalwarts incongruously dominated most fields, from politics to the arts and even business and sports.

But now younger entrants are rising everywhere, bringing with them energy and new ideas. In politics, as the country prepares for next year's general election, the leading contenders to replace 81-year-old Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are the Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi, 62, and Rahul Gandhi, who is just 43. Either man would be the first prime minister who was not born during the British Raj.

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