The Great Awakening

By all reasoning, the Union Cabinet's repealing of the ordinance against relieving convicted politicians of their posts is a landmark achievement for India and more specifically, for the vast Indian middle class. Long considered to be a segment of the population rather uninterested in the nuances of politics, the Indian middle class is slowly stirring from it's deep political slumber and awakening into India's vibrant and colorful democracy.

The Middle Class Driven 2011 Anti-Corruption Movement was one of the World's Largest
Traditionally, the Indian middle class has never been actively courted and catered to by any political party for their low voter turnout rates. Despite being the engine of India's booming economy, they were always kept a one-arm distance from politics. Yet, the minority which actually voted has been an important swing factor in recent elections. They were the ones who played a major factor in bringing the Congress it's election victory of 2009.

The middle class first woke up with the Anna Hazare led Anti Corruption Movement. The middle class youth, disenchanted with the corrupt system woke up to hit the streets and protest for better anti-corruption laws. While it eventually fizzled out, the recent ordinance which shielded convicted politicians caused widespread anger, though it wasn't explicitly expressed. This is historic indeed for it marks the arrival of around 300 million active participants in India's chaotic, vibrant and haphazard democratic set-up.

This has also meant that political parties are increasingly pandering to them. The BJP which once took their votes for granted, before being severely reprimanded in 2009 by them has now declared Narendra Modi, a favorite of the Indian middle class as it's Prime Ministerial candidate. The repealing of the ordinance and the economic reforms which the Government passed signify this approach, though no one expects them to yield great results.

Thus, we can also be hopeful of reduction in corruption and age-old Indian election activities like communal and sectarian polarization because it is something which doesn't appeal and rather to the contrary, disgusts the middle class community. Governments will now have to unveil policies which not only appease the poor, the most active, influential and sizable community which has reaped the benefits of democracy in India. The poor man of rural India has no concerns about the fiscal deficit and the growth, issue of paramount importance to many urban citizens. Parties will now have to walk a middle line, with laws which get a thumbs-up from both.

Poverty in India has so far been a big business. Every year, funds worth billions of dollars are poured into the Indian Economy with the noble intention of lifting millions of impoverished to a life which they can live with dignity. The budget of the Rural Development Ministry, composed primarily of cash-guzzling welfare schemes is a whopping figure - 100,000 crore rupees. With poverty falling and the middle class becoming increasingly vocal, I believe we will see in the future, a significant shift in government spending which shall be more focused on activities like building infrastructure and skill development among youth besides job creation.

Voter Turnout in 2014 can be an indicator of our futur
This is how this sudden flurry of activity int his section of the population is affecting so drastically (though positively) our future. Despite 66 years of democracy, we still have a far way to go. Our abysmally low voter turnout is an indication of this. But I see positive signs that this will change in 2014, all set to be a red-letter year in Indian history for it shall supposedly be characterized by mass voting inspired and fueled by the middle class. It's imperative we realize that this election is highly significant and shall go a long way in shaping India's future. Yet, the fact remains that all opinions I have expressed here are but opinions based on mere speculation. even if they are based on some good indications. So I look forward to 2014, for even the simple figure of the voter turnout shall indeed, go a long way in deciding our future.

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