Aspirational middle class driving politics today: Ashwath Narayan

The new aspirational middle class has been setting the agenda of the nation and politics today and Bharatiya Janata Party responded to this new phenomenon and did well, said Deputy Chief Minister C. N. Ashwath Narayan on Saturday.

He was speaking after releasing the book “Middle Class, Media and Modi: The Making of a New Electoral Politics” authored by Nagesh Prabhu, Deputy Editor, The Hindu.

Economist R.S. Deshpande said the book filled a critical gap in understanding the middle class and their political behaviour, an area that has not received much attention. “The four characteristics that define the new middle class are: aspirations, being observant, aware of their power and being expressive within a small group. Dr. Prabhu’s book comes out with a new methodology to assess their political behaviour,” he said.

Dr. Prabhu said it was often assumed that the middle class was not politically aware and active, but the book challenged this notion. “While the Congress birthed the new middle class, they failed to understand their aspirations. BJP caught the pulse of the new middle class and Narendra Modi who has repeatedly identified himself as coming from the middle class has successfully animated them and created a new electoral politics,” he observed.

T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education, said all developed and fast-growing countries were marked by a large middle class and said the new middle class in the country will continue to dominate and set the agenda for the politics in the country for a long time to come.

Congress leader B.L. Shankar, guest at the function, raised concerns over the present political climate where anyone critical of the government is either mocked or humiliated. “A strong Opposition is necessary for a functional democracy and it is good for even the government of the day,” he observed.

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