Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Posts Tagged ‘Anna Hazare’

Long Live Middle Class!

Posted by Mrityunjay on June 27, 2011

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

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Posted in Random Opinions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Anna Hazare’s Fight against Corruption

Posted by Mrityunjay on April 9, 2011

We Indians are not really known for good memory when it comes to our social responsibilities, civic sense and tolerance to rampant corruption committed by powers-that-be. But the way, people from all walks of life kept pouring in at social activist, Anna Hazare’s fast unto death campaign at Jantar-Mantar, one could smell winds of change. The movement that ended this morning after 97 hours fast of the renowned social reformer spread to many parts of the country. I, myself, witnessed it yesterday. The movement had all the essential ingredients including candle-lit vigils, street plays, singing and dancing, and other usual trappings of moral indignation and fervor. It was almost reminiscent of a festive air around Jantar-Mantar.

Though, when the announcement of Mr Anna Hazare’s fast-unto-death against rising corruption came few days back, not many expected it to gather such gargantuan momentum. Going by the inept reaction of government as evident from its unpreparedness and initial reactions coming from spokespersons, it was definitely a comprehensive victory for protestors. It would not be wrong on my part to call this campaign a blackmail tactic but perhaps, that was the only resort left to Indians fed up with one scam after another. Haven’t we exhausted all other options? Moral coercing can do wonders, sometimes!

For once, I was tempted to remember “Peepli Live” because of the presence of hundreds of television cameras and anchors. People kept scrambling and clapping. The intensity could be felt. Now that government has agreed to form a joint panel for Lokpal bill, I wonder, if this movement and its success is a sign of things to come or just a flash in the pan? Indian is definitely not Egypt or Tunisia or Yemen simply because we are a working democracy and we ourselves have selected most of these morons to rule over us. Since the time CWG scam broke out, we have literally lived through a corruption season. One skeleton after another kept tumbling out of the closet and yet the man considered as an epitome of honesty and integrity, instead of rising to the occasion and lead from the front, kept hiding behind the ‘pallu’ of  our very own Greta Garbo. We are being held hostage by a culture of corruption but our spineless PM kept citing compulsions of coalition politics as prime culprit.

I am not really sure, whether Lokpal bill drafting process will really serve its purpose. Agreed, we will have some reputed civil names in the committee but it will require plenty of will on part of government and opposition to pass the revamped version of the bill. Additionally, some critics are not really convinced about Hazare’s attempt to influence the working of a democratically elected government. As Karan Bedi rightly pointed out in TOI, “if someone has a problem with corruption, report politicians to the police, file a PIL or better still, don’t elect them.” But try telling these things to people of Baramati and you will get a resounding slap. Yes, this is a noble goal but what’s the guarantee that Anna Hazare will be able to draft a perfect bill aimed at rooting out corruption from our system? Even Arvind Kejriwal agrees to that and rightly terms the entire 97 hours as a small step towards the bigger objective.

It will be foolish to assume that a Lok Pal will ensure the elimination of corruption immediately by striking fear in the hearts of the corrupt. Make no mistakes about it as that is not going to happen. There will be effect, certainly and hopefully, administrative and political corruption will burrow down a bit. But all in all, for our own sake, this just can’t be a one-off movement. We, the people need to keep hammering on regular interval. The movement must not stop and should try to include more and more people in its reach. Above all, I hope, we get rid of our ‘indifferent attitude’!

Posted in Political Views | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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