Friday, November 29, 2013

Who is middle class

The Times of India, Hyderabad of Saturday, November 23,2013 carries an article ‘India’s middle class awakes’ by Pavan K Verma. He writes, ‘If we take a strictly economic criterion of defining a middle class person as anybody who belongs to a household which has a monthly income of between Rs 20,000 and Rs 100,000 a month, the middle class starts to look very substantial. Estimates reveal that as per this criterion the size of the middle class in 1996 was a paltry 25 million. Today, it is in excess of 160 million’.

160 million sounds big, but it is just about 15% of our population. And the criterion is unconvincing.  May be that is the reason the word ‘if’ is used.
Census figures of 2011 are available in my post ‘ lest you forget’ in this very blog.
As a manager in a PSU my gross salary in 1996 was Rs.13774/-( IT deduction was Rs.3402/-;net was Rs.7619/-) in 1999 it was Rs.17770/-(IT deduction was Rs.2799/-;net was 7080/-). The purchasing power of Rs.7000/- that time gave me a least uncomfortable living.
The point is I was much below Mr. Verma’s middle class. Today at least Rs. 30000/- net carry home salary is needed for the comfort level that Rs.7000/- provided in 1996-99.

 My views on classification are as follows:         
Those whose income is 2 lacs a year and not liable to pay IT cannot be considered as middle class. They get around 16600/- a month.

Those who pay 10% IT beyond 2 lacs can be considered lower middle class. But we cannot compare life of those getting 4 to 5 lacs with those getting less than 3 lacs.

 Those who pay 20% IT i.e. with income between 5 to 10 lacs can be mid-middle class. Even here one cannot compare life style of someone getting 5 lacs with another getting 10 lacs. It is very painful to call all of them mid-middle class.

Then those getting 10 lacs and above are upper middle class. But ceiling of middle class can be for those getting up to 15 to 20 lacs.

 Beyond 20 lacs upper class can be divided into lower upper, mid-upper and upper.

There are rich and super rich who really matter in every field.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Belur temple

These sculptures are in Channakeshava Temple(1117 AD), Belur, Karnataka state in India.


A G Gardiner in his essay ‘on habits’ writes about what Sir Walter Scott(1771-1832 poet, novelist) told to Rogers (poet, banker) of his school days. Scott had a student in his class who stood always at the top. Scott observed that the boy, when a question was asked, fumbled with his fingers at a particular button of his waistcoat. In an evil moment Scott removed that button with a knife. Great was Scott’s anxiety to know the success of his removing the button. When again a question was asked the boy sought for the button, which was not there and the boy failed to answer. He never recovered.

Rahul Gadhi pushes up his sleeves very often while giving a speech. As it is he is not a good speaker, In case he is made to wear half sleeve kurta imagine what will happen. May be he will start using belittling words.

Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and chief of MIM, is a good speaker. But while speaking he closes his eyes for longer periods than he keeps them open. I rule out stage fear. May be he has excellent photographic memory and while his eyes are closed he sees the text of his speech and reads it out. I do not think he can speak as well as he does if he always keeps his eyes open while speaking.   

  Modi is a special case. If his speechwriter (may be he speaks off the cuff) drops all derisive words he may not be able to speak half as well. I think the applause and cheers he gets for using derogatory words is a stimulus. His audience is literate (I am not using the word educated) urban mid-middle and lower middle class.

It is not necessary that a public speaker is also an intellectual and a good worker.

Thursday, November 14, 2013