What the middle class wants
- Malaysia Airlines plane with 5 Indians onboard missing, presumed crashed off Vietnam coast
- Bharatiya Janata Party releases second list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections
- No compromise with live-ins or gay rights, moral values supreme: RSS
- In Mumbai, new warship system malfunctions, Navy officer killed
- I'm not a terrorist, Modi should have met me: Arvind Kejriwal
From the many definitions of "middle class", I would emphasise the two most common shared elements: a level of income that is above the level needed for survival (including savings for emergencies), and a level of education and skills necessary to earn the posited level of income. The education has to be at a quality-level to make the individual aware of the world beyond the immediate environment. This awareness is essential for making an empathetic connection between one's own selfish concerns and the concerns of other, similarly placed individuals. Thus, the third element is usually a set of shared values that, to varying degrees, are common to the "middle class".
To be a part of the (lower) middle class, you have to have sufficient education to be aware of issues and elements that are outside the ambit of the skills needed for your job and to navigate the space that you inhabit, but not necessarily educated to a level that makes one capable of participating in debates about these issues or deriving solutions to social or economic problems. That is a criterion for classification in the middle class intelligentsia.
Is there a key "middle class value"? There are two values that support each other. One, that as a human being, one has a fundamental right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Two, an understanding and appreciation of true equality, that it is universal and indivisible. That is, if I have this right, then all individuals must have this right, and that the only way I can truly have and preserve this right is for all others to have the same right. Practically, this translates into a demand for equality of opportunity and equality of treatment. The competitive market economy embodies these ideals to a much greater degree than the hierarchical and segmented Indian society or the self-centered politico-bureaucratic system that now constitutes the ruling class.
- Chai pe Charcha gets police protection, EC officials to check on poll norm violation
- Complaint against Kejriwal: Kutch cops gather evidence
- AAP chief to hold first public meeting in Gujarat today
- Nominations for North Bangalore primary begin
- ‘Our campaigning in the state will be out of the box’
- ‘Aai Retire Hotey’ to take the stage for 100th time today