26 November, 2020

The Middle Comes First. It Happens, Hota Hai

For the Indian middle class, at last it's time to eye the rewards

Sandeep Adhwaryu
The Middle Comes First. It Happens, Hota Hai
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
My book on the Indian middle class was first published ten years ago as India celebrated its fiftieth anniversary of Independence. Now, a decade later, it is perhaps time to refocus our attention on a class that has continued to play a pivotal role in the making of modern India. India is a nation in transition. There is a great degree of tumult and jostling as a country of a billion people and great complexities makes this transition. The middle class has been a key player in this process. Some of its defining characteristics are still the same. Yet, there is evidence of change too. What are these changes?

Today, one of the most visible attributes of the middle class is a great deal of compressed energy, at the core of which is a talent for entrepreneurship and ability for hard work that must have few parallels anywhere. The overwhelming majority is self-employed, squeezing out an income in conditions of work that can hardly be imagined by a businessman in the developed world.

Education was something the middle class always valued...
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