Tanmoy Chakraborty | July 2, 2015
In the land of saints and sages, where words of wisdom flow from generation to generation, where a way of worship triggers piles of interpretation, there is a class of aspiring India which is determined to make brand India stronger than ever. They emerged not from our great traditions but from the everydayness disturbances that arrest their growth.
The Lok Sabha elections last year took the hope and aspiration to a new level- A land free from corruption, bureaucratic hurdles, with governance backed by a strong foreign policy. Prime minister Narendra Modi has created a space in the everydayness of the middle class Indian. Youngsters now see him as an icon- a leader who leads by examples and walks the talk. He is seen a reformer chosen to transform the dreams of Indian middle class into reality. He has given a clear message to the world that India is no longer a third world nation.
The combined voice of the people is always a stronger echo for change. The 32nd president of the United States Franklin Roosevelt once said “The one system represents government by freedom of choice exercised by the individual citizens. In the other system, individual freedom and initiative are all made subordinate to the totalitarian state”. The strength of the first always surpasses the second and the youth veto won this time.
Emerging Middle Class
With the Indian middle class emerging economically and taking a lead in the developmental work of the nation, their voice now plays a predominant part in policy making. Gone are the days where the ideas of ‘few’ played a dominant role in defining India- it’s culture, cult, policies, acceptance of religious views.
Now India is the replica of its middle class dream. The country flaunts its army of middle class citizens aspiring to take it to the pinnacle. The middle class, like the other genre of society, are hardworking, intelligent, and creating a footprint in global entrepreneurship and labour market. They want India to change, they love tradition but they want freedom of thought.
With more than 65 percent of population below the age of 35, and one of the UN reports says, India shall be the hub of skilled labour force and the middle class is going to have a considerable share in it.
The decision making ability was one ingredient that was lacking in Indian political leadership. However, PM Modi seems to have filled this void. Be it the Make in India campaign, the Digital India initiative, Swachh Bharat Mission or the observation of International Yoga Day. The middle class wanted this thrust.
Modernity, app, fashion, hot wheels are as much a part of our culture as tradition and religious beliefs. No longer do they want to hear Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Singapore as the start-up hub of the world. With our country providing abundant opportunity to creative people in terms of infrastructure, e-commerce, and finance and others the middle class is ready to overcome the risk. With Engineering graduated already launching successful ventures like Flipkart, Housing.com, Snapdeal while other who can’t afford the initial capital taking the ‘desi’ route of inventing refrigeration without electricity, revolutionise farming with innovative farming techniques have already given feathers to their dreams aligned with the government support.
Entrepreneurship in a localised manner is now capturing the best value. The search is now for motion followed by uniformity and order; and all guaranteed through a co-operative and effective leadership mechanism – A leadership of self-building aligned with nation building.
The Flight Ahead
Watching change is an intriguing activity. The middle class, like before, are not poised for long, hoping that one or the other whom they brought to power will carry their view. They are not ready to wait longer. They have now become critique of their own choices. They are disheartened the way poor were treated, environment was destroyed. People no longer want a trial and error method of experiment. Now governance needs to be action and time specific. They do not want anyone to remain marginalised or defeated and with government creating the vector of recognisation to its Citizen, the seed of the middle class are pouting to life.
As Kofi Annan said, “Democracy is not just about legality, critical though the rule of law is for a peaceful society; it is about legitimacy”. Elections must offer genuine choice. What these lines now suggest to India is that the middle class would be more demanding, the scenario that government outlines may not answer solve all issues. There will be grey areas too but now the middle class knows how to respond to it.
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