Monday, April 11, 2011

Middle Class Rises

The success of Anna Hazare's India against corruption movement is of great importance, especially for the young generations because it the first time in our lives (i.e. younger people) that we have seen the whole middle class uniting so passionately for a cause with so much of positive energy. We have seen people uniting previously in case of Reservations and Ram Mandir, but in both the cases a lot of negative energy and probably money from narrowly interested groups was involved and some or other political party stood to gain. This time it is very different because no political party is going to gain, because it will change the very foundations of the way politicians and parties operate.

First it was Indian Cricket team and then just after Anna have provided middle class India with confidence and hope that I believe will transform us into an energized nation. For our politicians, it has always been easy to manipulate or coerce the poor class which constitutes the majority in India due to many reasons which requires a separate discussion. At the same time, middle class was rightly perceived to be as the people too busy with their aspirations of individual/family growth at the cost of society at large. Those who were interested in politics, just saw it as means to gain power which could easily be translated into money later. This perception has certainly been challenged and changed by the India Against Corruption movement and its success.

Never before we have seen the middle class becoming the part of a peaceful and positive movement to achieve something so substantial for the whole society. This movement had grown much beyond the civil society and people (not just youngsters) felt really strongly towards its objective, though a lot of them had only half-cooked knowledge about the exact means i.e. the Lokpal legislation. This will force the politicians to not ignore the middle class anymore and hopefully result in more competitive, transparent and results oriented politics at all levels.

Probably some enterprising leaders will not only see the opportunity/possibility but also create an agenda and means to organize the middle class again in this manner for some or other equally appealing cause. We as middle class know now that we can certainly achieve something equal, if not bigger than the Lokpal bill, and that itself is big boost to not just the self-esteem but to their involvement in community affairs too.

The point I have tried to make in this post is that this success means lot for all of us in terms of its unintended spillovers. It would make politics fairer and hence accessible, and at the same time, it would increase not just the interest of middle class for being a part of the system/politics but also their confidence for doing so. My belief is that this would do a lot more to level the playground and remove dynasty politics, than most other efforts/ideas to do the same. Finally, I think it is great to witness this rise of middle class and the best thing is that it was a Gandhian effort which made it all possible.

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