Rise of Middle Class

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This economic rise of the middle class also gave a new direction to the cultural mores which have now come to define the middle class in India – Sabnavis again gives an insight, “Once unshackled, it’s not surprising that the Indian middle class felt liberated to enjoy and spend in the last two decades. Integrity is a relic of the Gandhian/scarcity era. “Means justify the ends” has always been the Indian principle of living — Krishna and Chanakya are the cultural icons of this. Jugaad has always been part of our lives”. No doubt, words like ‘jugaad’, ‘fixing’, ‘contacts’ have invariably crept into the lingo of the average middle class guy. Another quite peculiar identifier of this new middle class culture has been the fixation with English. Puts Vikram V. Garg[ 5],“Knowledge of English, together with mass media and the internet puts middle India in a very interesting position. It is in some sense, ‘pre-western’. The combination of comfort with English, combined with the relatively liberal political and media environment of India, is resulting in a huge American influence on this middle class. Also contributing are the increasingly strong people to people links between America and India. The middle class is thus developing aspirations that are in line with this psuedo-western mindset. It seems that for now these aspirations are mostly consumerish and professional, not political”. But the most defining feature of this middle class has been the fact that despite moving up the ladder in the consumption chain, it has not lost view of its “traditions” which does appear contrasting but is the path chosen. Says Rowena Robinson, “The modernity of the middle class does not enter the realm of the mind. Perpetuating patriarchal and hierarchical notions and reaffirming stereotypical gender roles are seen as commitment to tradition. Being liberal is epitomised as consumption and
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