The Typical Middle-class Indian
“Indian women Are Never Taught To Be Alone, and that’s A Problem” — Kavitha Rao
As a routine, I log into Facebook the other day and the first update read the above-mentioned title. Since it portrayed the Indian women, feminist as I am, was compelled to read. The piece went about stating how Indian women are not free to experience the world or to do things on their own, without being dependent on their husband, father or a brother! Be it anything related to household or job to banking and finances, the list piles up. But something I would add to this is the fact that it goes to an extent of living one’s dreams. It is one hell of a thing. Easy for some. Stormy for others.
I couldn’t help but think over the enormity of the subject. My views manifold from women to a bigger picture-The class of people. A picture that defined the class of people based on the economy, something that we differentiate as Upper-class, Middle-class, and the Lower-class. I would like to emphasize more on the middle-class.
Why the emphasis on Middle-Class?
Middle-class neither has the luxury of Upper-class nor the carefree approach of Lower-class.
Middle-class society is like that player who has skills but fears exhibiting them. Someone, who is worried about losing so much that he would always be defensive, defensive in approach towards life whether it is a game or a financial decision.
Streamlining back to what I started with, well… I wouldn’t say it’s just about the girls but coming from a middle-class family I think it applies to almost every child born in one! We say middle-class suffers the most, in terms of wrath and changes in any field, may it be social distress, emotional turmoil or an economic wave.
What is middle class exactly?
“Na idhar ka Na udhar ka”.
The definition of middle-class varies based on whether you are referring to a village, a city, a developed nation, or a city in a developing nation. So, it is relative wherever you go. The demands and the definition keep changing as we progress in time with the standard of living. Nonetheless, the gravity exists in the fact that any issue generated in any situation exploits the people at the center the most, and that’s how I define the middle class.
Middle-class is the jack of all trades but master of none!
Middle-class in itself is again distinguished into Upper middle-class and Lower middle-class based on how lifestyle ranges from the necessity to luxury.
Middle-class bothers about acceptance or rejection by society with respect to every step they take in life. May it be clothing or the career choice they make! They lack the power and confidence to take risks. They need a warranty for everything around them. FEAR is the word!
About 25% of Indian population is classified under Middle-class according to Deutsche Research as on 2016.
“I have had a rough childhood and I don’t want my children to suffer.” A classic statement thrown by parents at children when it comes to making choices. Very much a reason, but at what cost? Career choices superimposed, a writer becomes an engineer, an artist becomes a doctor, and a photographer becomes a banker. These might be distinguishing careers in their own families probably, but what about the bigger picture? THE WORLD!
“The fear of being uncommon restricts a person to being common”
The world is experiencing a change wave, more and more people are exploring and willing to pursue “Anokhe” (Unique) careers, both men and women at a considerable ratio if not equal. Very few youngsters from middle-class get a freeway. Few struggle their way to crawl out while for many, Dreams remain Dreams!
Every other engineer today, or an MBA grad, has a story. A story which revolves around a common feeling, “Log kya kahenge!” Their careers are driven by people of the society who seldom think of them. Many engineers after becoming one are blessed with a realization or a sudden stroke of what they want out of life. In one of my previous articles (expandable-thinking-box), I had insisted on fetching one’s dreams! The funny reality today is, people first become engineers and then choose a career path. Harsh eh?
Kavitha’s article speaks about how a girl went through the transition, from her father’s house to her husbands in a different country, and how she dealt with the challenges of being alone (one among many others) and made peace with it!
Indian women and precisely middle-class kids live in an over-protective environment. Simple things like going for a trek, or a vacation, taking up activities which require traveling, or for that matter even leaving a settled job to chase one’s dreams has been portrayed as foolishness. If you try to do something offbeat, you are sure to receive pullback and unhappy faces, whether to stop there or to fight the odds depends on you.
Shit things happen.
Mumbai is a great example of not reducing pace towards success, and fighting the odds! 1993 Communal riots, terrorist attacks on the stock exchange, terrorist attacks in local trains, the city, and the people have been through literally all sorts of calamities. Yet, they strive to move, to move at a pace they are known for.
Families and generations as a whole are leading the way by shedding conventionalism and are winning against the cliches. Like I said, middle-class in itself encapsulates huge variations. Different patterns are observed when it comes to choice of life. Few focus very much on their goals and live their dreams varying from IT to glamour while some are still struggling with themselves feeling stuck in between different attitude and thinking the society offers them. Middle!
Someone has rightly said,
“There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.”
Originally published at dipikapathak19.wordpress.com on April 8, 2016.