|EDITORIAL: The Rising Middle Class Agony
The Indian middle class has been perceived as a non-voting section, people who don’t care about exercising their franchise. They are labeled as indifferent to politics and a segment selfishly driven by individual pursuits that translate to economic progress.
The core values of India’s middle class are based on merit, education, hard work and an innate belief in being law-abiding citizens.
Nothing wrong with all that, except, India’s ruling political outfits, rooted in regressive dynastic, vote bank, caste and religion based politics, have failed to recognize the expectations and aspirations of this rising segment.
Over the past few years, however, there have been growing instances of this large section asserting and wanting to be heard politically. There is one clear demand – they want India to be a better-governed country.
While millions have poured out their angst on online social networking websites, hundreds of thousands have chosen to take up real activism by taking to the streets in protest, an unlikely sight even five years back, writes Siddharth Srivastava.
The inaction of India’s government in handling of various issues haunting the country has caused its credibility to be vastly hurt, evident by the low profile presence at the World Economic Forum meet in Davos last month.
It is a strong message to New Delhi that foreign sentiment on India will be positive only when it gets its act together on improving its investment climate by stepping up the pace of policy reform before sending polished speakers to make high-pitched presentations to attract foreign capital, writes Priyanka Bhardwaj.
A recently published book is adding to the dialog amongst religions without ignoring atheists in the conversation. Ras Siddiqui spoke to Dr. Najmus Saquib, author of God’s Facebook, and presents an interview.
With the emergence of India on the global scene as a player parlayed by the information technology revolution, its aspirations have received a new boost. Aside from being an economic power, it now aspires to be a knowledge power; a center of innovation and creative ideas. However, it is not on track to do so. While India has the resources to make this happen, the absence of fundamental institutional change makes reaching this goal very unlikely, writes Priyamvada Natarajan.
Rahul Gandhi has finally taken the full political plunge, anointing himself the vice president of the Congress party. This effectively makes him the main party mascot for the 2014 general elections.
The only person who seemed genuinely astonished at Rahul’s new position was Manmohan Singh. He probably did not know, an indication of his status in the party, when even those hired to burst crackers and beat the drums had been briefed about the celebratory moment. Clearly, Singh’s best days are past him now, writes Siddharth Srivastava.
A strong and resurgent India celebrated its 64th Republic Day, Jan. 26. This year’s parade highlighted the nation’s achievements in military prowess, scintillating display of air power and the rich and diverse cultural heritage. Indian Americans celebrated with people of all ages getting actively involved in the festivities. Siliconeer presents a photo essay on some of the events here in San Francisco Bay Area and the grand parade in New Delhi.
A postage stamp and the promise to upgrade the Gadar Memorial in San Francisco into a functional museum and library with a sculpture to honor the Gadari Babas marked the centenary celebrations of the Gadar Movement, writes Inder Singh.
Immigration has been portrayed as a divisive issue. In reality it’s not. All of us would benefit from an effective immigration system that responds to the needs of the market, protects all workers from abuse and exploitation and puts an end to the practice of separating parents from their children. We must act now. Our economy and our future depend on it.
New America Media brings attention to the urgency of immigration reform.
Hard to hear sometimes over the clatter of hard rock, loud pop singers, rap and hip-hop, but jazz is alive and well in the San Francisco Bay Area. On February 21 the future of jazz will have an even bigger window on the world, writes Al Auger.
Siliconeer enters it’s fourteenth year in publication. A big thank you to all our readers, contributors, advertisers and supporters for making this happen!