Vikram Garg: Thoughts on India's Middle Class.
... It seems that for now these [middle class] aspirations are mostly consumerish and professional, not political.
But why not ? So much is wrong with India’s politics. What [explains] this most unforgivable disengagement ? Many different reasons have been proposed, but I think it really starts in school. Although the syllabus is now much better, when I was in school I mostly learnt about the Freedom Struggle, Shivaji and the Maratha Empire. I learnt a lot about what the results of the Freedom Struggle should have been and how a democratic India should be run. But I learnt absolutely nothing about what happened in the 50 odd years of a supposedly ‘free’ India. My textbooks were silent on the Emergency, the Babri Masjid demolition, problems in Punjab, Kashmir and the North East. They were silent on the day to day corruption. They did a very bad job of making me an Indian citizen. Add to this, the traditional nepotistic and self-serving attitudes of most Indians meant that we choose ambitions/aspirations with little regard to what effect our life will have on the broader society we are part of.
So in India today, we have a generation of young men and women who ‘dream’ of Harvard, neuro-surgery, nano-technology and New York, but there are few signs of environmental lawyers, quality journalists and film-makers, professors with India-specific research interests and politicians from the middle class. The entire nation seems in decay, institutions that are the fundamentals of the nation are collapsing, because the young blood that would have nourished them is now either in America doing a PhD in Computer Science or working in a tech company in Bangalore. For now it seems, middle India has abandoned the Republic.