Suck Goes to High-Tech India


According to local editor/publisher/trucking-fortune scion Bipin Vashisth, 32, it is not Bangalore but Hyderabad — the 10 million-population city in neighboring Andhra Pradesh state that has begun to rival B'lore for the title of India's prime tech city — that has been blessed (or something) with the most New Economically progressive state government in India. Chief Minister N.C. Naidu's huge infrastructure projects are meant to create the closest thing India has to a Western business environment — decent roads, decent air, decent bandwidth. So far so good: while the H'bad IT industry is still only a fraction of Bangalore's, it's growing much faster, and it's capturing the imaginations of the city's educated class.

Today Bangalore's relatively large student population, and their counterparts in H'bad, are very much in the middle of South India's new-wave businesses. The taste of opportunity, the idea that any smart person can go into IT and make $10,000 a year at age 23 is changing attitudes in tens of thousands of Shubha's peers. And, says Bipin, these future leaders need a place to turn for their cues on how to attain the lifestyle they want.

If you believe Bipin — South India's would-be Jan Wenner — they look to The Cult, a 10,000 circulation monthly he founded in early 1998. Bipin distributes The Cult only in Bangalore and in Hyderabad, where the awakening student population want to "freely express their views" instead of being "repressed by teachers" all the time. The Cult is that liberating vehicle.

At least that's the theory.

In practice, The Cult is a monthly 40-page pamphlet-size 'zine with short articles on pop music, cricket, polls-n-quotes pieces on dating ("Do you support live-in relationships?"), plus some tame nookie puns. Aside from its local cultural references, it's nothing you couldn't find in the US version of Seventeen, which, of course, is written for twelve-to-fifteen year-olds. The savvy ironies that pervade Spin or Cosmopolitan or Jane or Suck are absent. The college-age "youth" of India's high tech cities want more independence — meaning they want to be able to stay out at the pubs until midnight — and they want to know if it's OK to kiss someone you might not marry.


Speak your mind about today's Suck
Goes to India

Let's Go Bangalore!
E-Commerce, Mom and Pop-Style
The Accidental Feminist
Money Changes Everything
The Billionaire Socialist
Those Crazy Kids and Their Cult
From Hyderbad to Worse
Masterbuilders on the March!


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