R. Jagannathan, the editor of First Post, says there is a “new” middle-class propelling Anna Hazare‘s anti-corruption movement. It has five distinct traits, it can dump you as easily as it pumps you up, and it is here to stay:
1. The new middle class knows that you can’t get anything done by being reasonable. Just as the Dalits or OBCs get their reservations and caste-surveys done not by reasoned debate in parliament but through an exercise of street power, it has learnt that you get what you want when you are unreasonable enough.
2. The new middle class has discovered its spending power and wants goods and services made to order. Politics, for it, is not about democracy and constitutionalism. It is about delivering governance.
3. The new middle class is impatient and self-obsessed. It is the ATM generation, where you put in your card and get your money. It does not believe in negotiating with people, with bureaucracy, and with the political establishment. Corruption and bribery are obstacles to its progress.
4. The new middle class has a consumerist view of democracy. It will vote if voting is made easier. Its ideal of democracy is something you can give your opinion on through a website poll or a tweet or a Facebook post.
5. The new middle class is a product of the decline of the public sector and the rise of the modern private sector.
Read the full article: Why Anna’s middle-class is different
Photograph: Activists of “India Against Corruption” at a dharna at Freedom Park in Bangalore on Thursday in support of Anna Hazare. (Karnataka Photo News)