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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Election 2014, In the middle of it - 6: what does growth vs.secularism mean to the urban middle class...

I am sick and tired of people parroting this 'development' and 'secularism' words as though they really meant it to be political issue generators. they both are safe, meaningless terms in India that is adopted by those who need an imaginary enemy or destination to swing their non-existent sword and pretend to either fight or protect...the Urban Middle Class is the biggest creator and consumer of this imagined world, but, what does it REALLY want??

Those who reaped the benefits of the economic policies of the Congress in the last decade most, i.e., the Urban Middle Class, are today its biggest opponents. Their idea of growth that was seeded and shaped by the UPA I and II cannot be contained by the UPA any longer and needs the Modi and BJP to satiate itself. 

So, what is this 'development' that this particular class of people aspire for? for most of the urban middle class it only means, more earning for themselves, more possibilities for 'foreign' tours, more unbridled consumption, more Malls, more highways for faster travelling...more of everything. A linearity of growth that is delimited by their personal ambition. 

A majority of the Upper and Middle class Urban Indian will agree that there is no difference between Congress and BJP if pushed. 

Then why is most Urban Middle Class in love with Modi? in reality, no one knows what is this great "Gujarat Model" all about and how is it different or why is it most relevant for India today. They "don't care". They want a 'change' as in changing their television channels from a long running soap opera with predictable episodes to another channel that has a much promoted and hyped action hero movie. The anticipation of what the hero will deliver alongside the wish list of personal demands is a combination that is being exploited by the NaMo publicity team.

So, what is this 'development' most urban middle class that worships television gods is anticipating? it is an utopia of linear growth of their personal economic fortunes and nothing beyond. 

Having asked several people why they want to vote for Modi (most people rush with their answers), I haven't found a single person who eventually doesn't talk about his or her personal demand. 

The idea of 'secularism' being held by a few against Modi (it is hardly held as a pro-Congress plank any longer) is equally shallow in its meaning for in the Urban Middle class. 

Being 'secular' has for long been held as a shield for Hindus who don't want to defend their modern and liberal views in a conservative society. a moral plank of sorts. That is why a Hindu Secular will dare not take a stand on a Muslim issue or a Christian issue or vice versa. 

Congress seeking votes under the 'secular' title is the longest running mockery in India only second to the so-called, 'secular third front', a strange coalition of convenience among people who can't hold each others' hands beyond the photo needs. 

Traditional India has long back worked out co-existence, modern India cannot tolerate any domination of the 'other' and 'communal' is one of the several labels used to define the 'other' whenever convenient. 

Dividing people, making them feel weak and vulnerable, making them feel that they need a 'solution', the 'solution' is a very old trick. You need to create an utopian goalpost in which each one can see their own goal or you need to create a large enemy whom they need to be afraid of. 

BJP is selling the utopian goalpost of development, while Congress is selling the 'secular' shield from an enemy they imagined and created.

Urban Middle Class is both vulnerable and weak. 

It is weak because it cruises in an economy that has its foundations on a melting ice of resource base, it is vulnerable because, it continues to believe that it is correct in sitting tight and watching its television shows.  Majority of the urban middle class won't vote if there is an IPL match on that day, most of them would prefer to stock their liqour bottle in advance and will consider that dry day as unnecessary...their pathetic status is the biggest ailment of India today. It is sad that this ailment will determine the government that suits their illness, furthering the weakness and vulnerability.

1 comment:


Yes...I fully endorse this view...that's the cause for the ill of this society...

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