08 December 2014

India's Middle Class and Politics

Q: Why does India's middle class not participate in politics?

Middle class is a modern/industrial class. But Indian society is not yet an industrial society. It is still an agricultural society. Worse, it is a feudal society. So India's middle class is an industrial island in an agricultural/feudal ocean. An industrial society runs on merit, knowledge and education. A feudal society runs on money, muscle and caste.

A country's politics is a function of its society. That is, a country's politics is decided by what kind of society it has. An industrial society has industrial politics – ie, professional knowledge-based politics. A feudal society has feudal politics – ie, the politics of money, muscle and caste. Since India is a feudal society, it has money-muscle-caste politics.

Since the middle class is an industrial class, it has only merit, knowledge and education – but not money, muscle and caste. So it is unable to operate in India's money-muscle-caste politics.

Therefore the Indian middle class does not participate in politics.


Kalyan Inampudi said...

Very Insightful and completely agree with you.We are in what Justice Katju says a transition time of India and hopefully will land in shore of Industrial society in next 20 years.

Anonymous said...

I recommend you read George Orwell's 1984.Any society will have lower,middle and Upper class.Middle class will join politics promising the lower class heaven,(refer AAP),once they get power they will try to graduate to Upper rich class.Once in the rich class,they will forever try to be there.For the lower class it is movement from one master to another no change.

Indian said...

I have not read the book. But I have read the passage:

"Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude toward one another, have varied from to age to age; but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.

The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim -- for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives -- is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves, or their capacity to govern efficiently or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters."

Anonymous said...

I recommend you read the book ,along with Animal Farm again by Orwell,in Animal Farm we have example of how the entire country shouted Modi,Modi and how it will play out.