How India has ‘disappeared’ its middle-class, writes Pankaj Mishra

It’s no secret that India’s middle class is increasingly shrinking.

In the last two decades, it’s seen its population shrink from around a billion people in the 1970s to just over three million today.

Now, as the middle class shrinks further, so too does the country’s middle.

In a country that has long been a symbol of economic and social progress, it is hardly surprising that India is experiencing a sharp drop in the middle.

But the data we do have suggest that the trend is more than just an urban phenomenon.

A survey of over 1,000 people across the country by the think tank the Centre for Policy Research, conducted in 2014, found that over half of the country is experiencing some degree of social distancing.

And, as with so many other aspects of India’s economic and political future, it has everything to do with the fact that India has been in the midst of a “disappearing” of its middle class.

This article first appeared on The Times Of India.

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