Indian Youth Groups

Figure 1.--Here we see a group of Indian Scouts in 1930. It appears to be an integrated group, albeit there are just a few British boys. An inscriptian identifies this as Se??nbur Scouts in Perambur. This is a suburb in the Northern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu state. Click on the image to see the inscription. Let us know if you can mke out how it reads.

India is the second most populace country in the world. And unlike China does not have restrictions on free asociation, especially associtions for children. We do not yet have much information on Indian youth groups. We are hoping that one of our Indian readers will ptovide some backgrond information. The most important and best known youth movement in India is Scouting, both the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. This began with British boys in India, but Indian boys soon got interested as well. As in other countries, Scouting was a middle-class movement. The Indian middle-class as a result of free market reforms has grown substantially since the 1990s. We are not sure yey to what degree it has affected the Scouting movement. Indian Scouts continue to be drawn by its traditional and abiding values. A very small part of Indian boys participate in Scouting, still it is a sizeable movement. We suspect that the Christian-oriented Boys' Brigade is also active. Christianity is a small community in Ondia, but the country is so large that there is a substantial number of Christians available for the Brigade. We also suspect that the BJP has some kind od youth wing. And there is a school cadet program, also part of India's British heritage.


When Scouting was founded and introduced to India the country was a British colony--this period in its history being called the British Raj. I believe that when Scouting was founded that there were not only Indian troiops, but also a few troops for the children of colonial officials. We are not sure to what extent these troops mixed. As with many other aspects of British culture, the Indians appear to have taken to Scouting enthusiastically. The great poverty prevalent in India had meant that Scouting has been inaccessable to the vast majority of Indian boys. We have many questions about Indian Scouting. India is a mix of many different national, ethnic, and religious groups. On many places these groups, especially Hindus and Muslems, live in the same towns and cities. I am unsure how Indian Scouting has approached these divisions. We do not know if troops are formed of largely single ethnic, religious, and national groups or if Indian troops are formed of boys from of diverse backgrounds. India has made considerable economic progress in recent years. There is as a result a large and thriving middle class. I am unsure at this time to what extent the current generation of Indian boys have joined the Scouting movement. The image here in the 1990s shows a uniform for Scouts of black berets, green shirts, black short pants, and black kneesocks.

Cadet Groups

The Indian National Cadet Corps (राष्ट्रीय कैडेट कोर)--NCC) is the Indian military cadet corps. The NCC traces its roots to British colonial India. During World War I, a University Corp was created by he Indian Defense Act (1917). This initiated the idea of a cadet corps like the one in Britain. Further developments followed World War I during the inter-War era and during World War II. India played an important role in both the British World War I and World War II war effort. The NCC was founded at independence by the National Cadet Corps Act (1948). A separate Girls Division was added (1949). The NCC is headquartered at New Delhi. There are both secondary school and college level programs for students. It is an entirely voluntary program. The NCC has three service programs (Air, Army, and Navy wings). It provides training in preparing youth for military service. And it has provided assistance in national emergencie such as the wars with Pakistan. Cadets receive basic military training, primarily with small arms and drill. They frequently appear in national celebrations as a parade group. Cadets have no liability for actual active military service once they complete the school cadet program. They do receive preferential treatment in the military based on their NCC accomplishments.

Boys' Brigade

We suspect that the Christian-oriented Boys' Brigade is also active. Christianity is a small community in India, but the country is so large that there is a substantial number of Christians available for the Brigade.

BJP Youth Groups

We also suspect that the BJP has some kind of youth wing.

Other Groups

We know of no other Indian youth groups at this time.


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Created: 4:03 PM 2/28/2014
Last updated: 4:03 PM 2/28/2014