India’s virtual middle class : Thomas L. Friedman
These technologies still need scale, but they are on their way. And they are enabling millions more Indians to at least feel as if they are middle class and the political empowerment that goes with that, says Nayan Chanda, who runs the YaleGlobal Online magazine and is co-editor of A World Connected: Globalisation in the 21st Century.
In December, a 23-year-old Indian woman — whose father worked double shifts as an airport baggage handler, making about $200 a month so his daughter could go to school to become a physiotherapist — was gangraped on a bus after she and a male friend had gone to a movie. She later died from injuries sustained in the rape. She was a high-aspiring member of this new virtual Indian middle class, and her brutal rape and subsequent death triggered nationwide protests for better governance. “It is one of those turning points in history when a citizenry, so far pleased with economic gain, wants more than material comfort,” said Chanda. “They want recognition of their rights; they want quality of life and, most importantly, the good governance they have come to expect by watching the world.”
Ditto China. In