Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, like most of the Indian government, lives in the city. However, that’s not true for most of India which lives in the villages. This difference has been evident in the policy and politics, and even the future vision of the government.
Sitharaman recently intrigued the nation with her comment that the slump in automobile industry was due to the millennial ‘mindset’ of using Ola and Uber instead of buying automobiles. Possibly, she was referring to the downturn in consumption by millennials, an important segment of consumers in the country. But, are all millennials urban and privileged? What about the rural millennials whose daily wage may not pay for one Ola or Uber ride? Or do they not count in the Indian democracy?
They do, for the numbers speak for them. The millennial population in India is about 450 million, of which 67 percent live in rural India (Kantar IMRB Report, 2019). These millennials comprise 36 percent of the entire rural population in India of 833 million (Census, 2011). Further, 80 percent of the earnings of a rural household are contributed by them (Kantar IMRB Report, 2019). Therefore, any rural consumption is driven by the income of rural millennials and would have significant impact on the overall economy.