Growth, the middle classes and democracy in India: How different from China?


 Room Segalen, 25/F, Admiralty Centre, Tower 2, 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong (Admiralty MTR station, exit A)

Speaker:  Saroj Giri (University of Delhi)

Reservation & Contact: Miriam YANG / tel: 2876 6910



Dr. Saroj Giri teaches Political Theory in the Deparment of Political Science, University of Delhi. He works on social movements, movements against displacement, secularism and religious identity. His recent work is on new forms of activism like WikiLeaks and urban phenomena like the new middle classes and the anti-corruption movement in India.


Given electoral democracy in India, the large mass of the poor are a factor for the political class. The large mass of the urban working poor are also a crucial factor fuelling growth. What we see is that the upwardly mobile middle class mobilises some sections of the poor, at least at the level of public opinion, against the political class. At the same time, the political class is trying to win over the poor, through welfare schemes, and maintain some kind of a mass base, at least for electoral gains. The poor are in a confused situation, so far as their independent agency is concerned. The old trade unions have wilted but new forms of political mobilisation have not come. India is in the midst of this confusion: are the poor with the rising middle class against the political class; are they with the political class against the aggressive middle class; or are they against both these classes? The middle classes cannot be understood on their own without relating them to the poor.


This seminar will be held in English.
Sebastian Veg, Director of the CEFC, will chair the session.
Snacks and drinks will be served after the seminar.
Seats are limited. Please confirm your attendance.











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