Middle class makes up for a sizable chunk of the society but that hasn’t really transformed into any sort of real power. Yes, numbers do matter and we can take to the streets a la, Jasmine revolutionaries or piggy riding on the likes of Anna Hazare or Yoga Rockstar, Baba Ramdev but that’s as far as we can go or think of going. Middle class is meant to suffer in the hands of politicians, bureaucrats and under the weight of its own expectations and ambitions.
The idea of this post came from recent diesel and LPG price hike. Whether its rising inflation, increased commodity prices, skyrocketing real estates, nasty service tax/education cess or rising cost of everything under the sun, it’s essentially middle class population that has to bear the brunt. I wonder, whether all these talks of inflationary pressure on our household expenses has any effect on the rich echelons of the society?! The middle segment has neither the resources of the rich nor the fatalism of the poor who silently perish. For any government, middle class has always been a soft target.
There can’t be any cataclysmic change which will prove instrumental in uprooting this curse. On our part, Indian middle class is no less responsible for some of the mess. It has stopped the celebration of the ordinary and taken the baton of new superpower or new-age consumers high on the Viagra of more spending capacity, far too seriously. They call it ambition, moving to the next level but in reality, it is more likely a case of blatant mimicking of the ‘rich’.
Not long back, we had global financial meltdown. Agreed, it was triggered/conspired/instigated by the banking behemoths but segment that really suffered was middle class. Whether it was axing of jobs, reduction in salaries or inability to splurge, the “half-have’s” had it really tough. Yet, if we look closely at the phenomenon, the primary reason behind the breakdown can be attributed to people’s inability to save and useless addiction to splurge. All the large banks, mortgage firms, stock brokers, marketers, advertisers etc know all they need to do is to arouse that “I belong” feeling within the foolish middle class population.
Most of these victims couldn’t balance their own checkbook, so what they got was overdraft fees. No prizes for guessing, the banks forced them into not paying attention, right? They had to have those 50” 3D LCDs/Plasma because this will make them feel affluent. Again, they added that price tag onto their credit cards and yet they complained about lack of savings. The neighborhood uncle talked about this phenomenal stock that was going to give 1000% returns in a month and they got burned!
I am not done yet. Some of my friends/colleagues, typical middle-class junta but high on house mortgage, bonuses, perceived above average salaries, are not really familiar with what a budget is but will turn into gluttons once they come across a fast-food joint and will buy useless smartphones, without knowing what android refers to. Despite all that, the middle class wannabes still have the gumption to blame banks for all the horrible decisions taken by them. So either this category is completely brainless and blind when it comes to managing their finances or they should accept that they are spineless enough to be controlled by high-flying shrewd bankers from some dark dungeon board room or something!
This is basic Economics 101. But I am afraid, not many of them are really aware of game of economics or even history books which clearly states that, in the Crash of 1929 the politicians, the bankers and the elite, with connections in high places and enormous credit and cash reserves, bought up everything that was for sale. Yes, you read it right. The bourgeois never made money. Worse of all, this middle class always lives with one cherished delusion and that is, very presence of intellectual or artistic gifts masquerading as ‘divine attributes’ helping them in closing the distance with the ‘Have’s’. The hungry resourcefulness cannot be compensated by the careful pretensions of personas that are somehow inherently invested with a loads of aspirations colored in shades of self-pity.
The middle class segment of Indian society is anyways, the least privileged one. So, they should either accept the inevitable with a pinch of salt or try reducing the pain of reality by finding their “internal locus of control” in the bowels of their withering mind. And if nothing here written by me is making any sense then please, unplug your computer and stick a wet finger in the electrical socket.
Long Live Middle Class!
Image source(for graphical representation only):- impactlab.net