An attempt to shatter some delusions.

Indian Middle Class Narratives TNM series busting common middle-class myths
Blog Blog Thursday, August 04, 2016 - 19:29

A little girl from a wealthy family started an essay on what it is like to be poor, “Mary lived in a very poor home. She didn’t have enough food to eat. Even her servants didn’t have enough food. Her chauffeur was dying of starvation.”

With just one kid, it is simply cute. You can smile and explain reality to her in a couple of minutes. Kids listen, observe, analyze and understand.

With adults, it is a little harder. We are already set in our ways, our world view has crystallized, and we have unknowingly made peace with our delusions.

Which would have been fine if it were just a few scattered individuals.

But an entire demographic segment in the world's second largest nation, the ‘middle-class’, sharing and reinforcing each other’s delusions is slightly problematic.

We believe we are not getting the governance we deserve.

We believe it is only the politicians who are messing up the country, not us.

We believe in ‘merit’, and have our own ideas of what it really means.

We rave and rant about corruption, but leave our own everyday corruption out of it conveniently.

We are all very ‘patriotic’, and think duty to the nation is supreme.

We love complaining about tax defaulters, while trying to avoid it all year around.

We think ‘startups’ and ‘innovation’ in Bengaluru and Hyderabad are really going to change the nation.

This is an attempt to shatter some of these delusions.

Each article in the series will take up one delusion and show why it is so.

The tools used are predominantly sarcasm and black humour. These tools have been known to provoke outrage, anger and denial. Please proceed with caution.

Here are the definitions and myths of the middle-class which we will be taking on


“Vote-bank politics”




“Tax Base”

“Startup and Innovation”



Haribabu Thilakar is a Chennai-based IT professional and has contributed to The News Minute earlier - How does India’s caste system work in the 21st century?

Note: The views expressed here are the personal opinions of the author.

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