Inida’s New Middle Class Mantram
Hari Jaisingh
---------- by Leela Fernandes Oxford University Press, 2007, 289 pp., 575
December 2007, volume 31, No 12

India has been in the thick of a revolution of rising expectations, visible more sharply for more than two decades. I believe that the new middle class, as is generally defined, is the by-product of high expectations thrown up by changing domestic opportunities and the atmosphere of liberalization generated by new forces of globalization at home and abroad. To say this is not to deny glaring gaps between soaring expectations, slow political reflexes and red-tapism that the Indian system is still suffering from. The colonial mindset, calculated games of vote-bank politics, slow-moving machinery of reforms and ever-present hiatus between self-seeking leaders and the led, the iron grip of operators and power-brokers in the corridors of power have only added to the frustration and restlessness of the educated youth looking for new avenues for jobs and money-making outlets.

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