Is “dirty messy” really an illusion? How do Indians define the middle class? Demystifying India’s Great Power Dream

Translated from the Headlines (Toutiao 头条新闻)

Author: Science Insight Bureau(科普洞察局)

“India has never been a country, but a geographical concept.”

“The 21st century belongs to India.”

The former is an evaluation of his country by the famous Indian poet Tagore, and the latter is a bold statement by the former Deputy Prime Minister of India, Awani.

Today, when talking about India, most of the time they are full of ridicule, saying that they are going to travel to India, and some people may even think it is a waste of money.

Is India really dirty, messy, and terrible? Why do Indians never forget their dream of being a great nation? How outrageous is India’s definition of the middle class?

Is India’s “dirty, messy and bad” really an illusion?

Speaking of India, the country of India is not useless. I have made a video about where India’s confidence comes from. There is a detailed description of those places in India that are relatively good. If you are interested, you can check it out.

Let’s talk about it roughly. The four industries that Indians are most proud of are film, generic drugs, software, and aerospace. In addition, India also has a vast territory, sufficient labor force, and fairly good geopolitics.

So does India have these, isn’t India “dirty, messy and bad”? The answer is obviously no.

Everything has a good side and a bad side. There is a saying that India relies on the 2% elite on the pyramid to drive 98% of the poor at the bottom.

So the question is, can the poor in India really be driven? In other words, did those elites try to motivate the poor below?

Generally speaking, when looking at a country, the main thing is to look at the overall level, right? We do not deny that India has a good side, but the bad side cannot be covered by the good side at all.

Speaking of India, it is definitely not possible to get around the slums of India. It is understood that Mumbai, India is the most popular Indian city for international tourists, with a high degree of modernity, clean streets, and good humanities.

However, around Mumbai, there are nearly 2,000 slums, large and small, including Dahavi, India’s largest slum.

In Dahawi, which is only 1.75 square kilometers, there are as many as 1 million people.

What is the concept of 1.75 square kilometers?

In terms of international unit conversion, 1.75 square kilometers is 1.75 million square meters. Assuming that there are exactly 1 million people in Dahavi and there are no buildings in the area, it is just a large area of ​​open space, which means that everyone has a standing area. It is less than 2 square meters.

Then put in the buildings, the passages, the excess people, etc., which means that the area that each person can occupy alone is likely to be only 0.5 square meters or less, and this is still Calculated under ideal conditions.

It is conceivable that such a small place has to accommodate so many people. How can such a place not be messy and messy?

India even has the title of “the world’s largest outdoor toilet.” According to statistics, nearly half of Indians solve their physiological problems outdoors. Open-air toilets are quite common in India, and the sanitary problems are even worse.

A mixed population will inevitably breed all kinds of crimes. Theft, sexual crimes, fights, gatherings to make trouble, marches on the streets, etc., have almost all become daily routines.

These are just the tip of the iceberg at the bottom of India. In India, there are still extremely bad traffic conditions, a rather backward water supply, and a sanitation system, and the public security environment is also extremely bad. Finally, there is the extreme disparity between the rich and the poor, which is even more deadly.

India is very poor because it has a large number of poor people. Poverty is widespread in India. There are many people who consume less than US$1.3 per day.

But if you say that India is rich, it is not unreasonable. In the first half of 2021, in the global GDP ranking, India ranked sixth with 1.473 trillion U.S. dollars, even ahead of France.

By the way, what are the top three countries, the first is still the United States, with 11.07 trillion US dollars, China is the second with 8.223, and the third is Japan with 2.510.

Seeing this, do you feel very confused? Don’t doubt, this is true. The “dirty, messy” India can really rank sixth in more than 200 countries around the world.

So the question is, what is the main reason for the multiple contradictions behind the “dirty, chaos, and bad”?

I have read the question: Why is India so poor?

Someone replied: Why is India’s high caste so rich?

Today’s India will develop in this way, in the final analysis, it is because of the ideological deviation brought by Indian traditional culture and religion, which is continuously hindering the development of India’s productivity.

Let’s put it this way, although India has clearly abolished the caste system, the caste system is still deeply entrenched.

In the concept of the vast majority of Indians, their lives have been frozen. It is impossible to change their class through hard work. They can only pray for a better birth in the next life.

Many Indians at the bottom have not received an education, still clinging to the beliefs passed down by their older generations, constantly praying for asylum, and never thinking about how they can stand up.

The middle class in the eyes of Indians

Obviously, India’s “dirty, messy, and poor” situation is not an illusion, but it is also important to note that it is this kind of India whose happiness index is not low, and whether or not they are happy or not depends mainly on their mentality.

Just like some people in life feel that eating delicacies from mountains and seas is very happy, but some people feel that eating vegetables and tofu is equally happy.

Indians have always had a pretty good mentality. In the eyes of many Indians, they don’t find it uncomfortable to ride a train with people inside and out. Instead, they think it’s very good because, in the end, they all manage to reach their destination by car.

As we all know, the middle class can largely reflect the country’s economic development level. The more people in this class, the higher the economic level.

According to OECD standards, the “middle class” refers to people whose family income is between 75% and 200% of a country’s middle income.

Prior to this, India announced that at least 300 million Indians are in the middle class, causing an uproar in an instant.

This value is quite amazing. You must know that India has a total population of only about 1.3 billion, that is, at least 23% of the people in India are middle-class.

According to the survey in the United States, the middle class in India should be defined as a group with a daily income of 10 to 20 US dollars.

But what is shocking is that the Indian definition of the middle class is quite outrageous: the “upper limit” is very high, and the “lower limit” is very low.

Scholars in Mumbai, India, give a standard that those who spend between US$2 and US$10 per day are middle-class. At that time, foreign media reports pointed out that if this standard is followed, nearly half of the people in India meet it.

If 2 to 10 US dollars are converted into RMB, it is about 13 to 64 yuan.

Nowadays, the Indian definition of the middle class is even more outrageous:

Indians believe that as long as they can afford color TV refrigerators, they are already middle-class; some Indians pointed out that they can be middle-class if they succeed in getting rid of poverty, and can achieve food and clothing; there is another kind: as long as they can eat and eat, there is a place for them. Sleeping is already middle class.

It is not difficult to see that the Indian middle class is a very broad concept.

It can be seen that Indians are quite easy to satisfy, and their mentality is quite wide. Why can Indians put the standard of the middle class so low? In fact, the answer is already clear.

India’s Great Power Dream

If the middle class can first reflect the country’s economic development level, the greater the number of people, the higher the country’s economic level, then according to Indian standards, India’s economic level is not low.

At this time, I have to mention India’s “superpower dream” since its independence.

I often hear about India’s dream of being a big country, so what exactly is this dream of India’s being a big country?

One: Become a “permanent member of the United Nations”;

The permanent members of the United Nations have five countries, namely China, Russia, France, Britain, and the United States, with one veto power.

In recent years, India has been fighting for it, but it has never been able to do so. So why does India think it can get it?

First, in recent years, the United Nations has been advocating increasing the voice of developing countries and the African region. India’s current status in developing countries is not low. Compared with other developing countries, its overall strength is not bad, and its economic growth is fast.

Secondly, India has a population second only to China, about 1,300,000,000, and has always claimed to be the most populous developing democracy in the world.

Finally, India believes that India has one of the most powerful military forces in the world, and it is also the country that contributes the largest number of troops to the UN mission, as many as 160,000.

Second: to become the world’s third-largest economy in 2030.

At present, the world’s top three economies are the United States, China, and Japan. Although India has squeezed into the top ten, it ranks low. But India’s desire to become the world’s third-largest economy does not seem to be idiotic to Indians.

Goldman Sachs, a leading international investment bank, recently made a prediction: India has a good chance of overtaking the UK in three years and becoming the world’s fifth-largest stock market. And in the next three years, there is a high probability that as many as 150 Indian private companies will be successfully listed.

In addition, India has a population of up to 1.3 billion people and an extremely sufficient labor force. Even after months of epidemics, the Indian market is still optimistic. This is beyond doubt.

Recently, according to a survey released by Deloitte, among 1,200 business leaders in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, 44% of the respondents stated that they plan to make new or additional investments in India.

In particular, the United States claims to have great confidence in India.

Is India’s dream of a great power really enough?

It is a good thing to have a dream, but if the dream is far beyond what you can reach, it becomes a delusion.

India has always wanted to become a major country in the permanent membership, and at the same time it has always regarded itself as a “big country.”

First of all, China, the United States, Britain, France, and Russia are now in a state of relative balance. Whether in the game between countries or the distribution of benefits, most of the five countries have an unspeakable understanding. If India suddenly joins, it will inevitably lead to This situation being broken.

Moreover, India often jumps repeatedly between the United States and Russia. If India is allowed to enter, the United States and Russia will likely be restrained by India. In addition, India’s attitude towards China is also worthy of further investigation.

Secondly, India does not actually have a large enough volume to enter the world. As far as the so-called powerful army that India is proud of, it is well known that the weapons in the hands of Indian soldiers are basically imported, and the overall quality is relatively insufficient.

In addition, India does not have a good reputation internationally. India seems to have good geopolitical relations, but India often borrows money and relies on accounts for various reasons, which has long caused its reputation to plummet.

As the saying goes, “There is a loan and it is repaid, and it is not difficult to borrow.” But India only borrows but does not repay, and there is no credit at all. Who can stand it?

Finally, India is a conceptual country in bulk, which is extremely lacking in cohesion. The country of India is really amazing. There are more than 2,000 languages ​​alone. This is best reflected in the Indian currency. There are as many as 17 languages ​​on a rupee, which is dazzling.

In addition, the Indian caste system is firmly confining the development of India, and the class is seriously solidified. In addition, Hinduism advocated by the vast majority of Indians believes in “cultivating the next life”, resulting in the concept of many Indians that there is no breaking of the imprisonment thoughts.

India’s dream of being a great power has long been crushed by itself. After the global pandemic, India is facing a crisis of social regression.

Nowadays, in India, due to the epidemic, a large number of foreign companies have to suspend work;

Work stoppage means no work, which in turn led to a sharp rebound in the unemployment rate;

Without a job, there is no income, and the people’s consumption will naturally continue to plummet;

The continuous slump in consumption has caused a large number of small, medium, and micro retailers to go bankrupt;

In the end, the vast majority of the middle class returned to poverty.

Today’s India is still constantly shouting slogans, saying “India is about to succeed in becoming a permanent member”, “India will become a manufacturing power”, “India is the next world factory”, “India…”

But the saddest thing is that India is losing the future step by step in its vain dream of a big power.

According to statistics, India is the country with the largest number of child laborers in the world, initially estimated to be between 60 million and 150 million.

We often say that children are the future flowers of the motherland.

But in India, their children are suffering from jobs far beyond their age. In some impoverished areas, many children even work more than ten hours a day, but even if the working hours are so long, the money they can get is still Just enough to make ends meet.

The same are children. Children in poor areas are moving bricks, but children in rich areas are drinking and watching, asking: Why do those children move bricks?

Outsiders often sigh: Why is India so poor?

The high castes in India dismissed this: We are very rich!

The poor in India feel like water: they will be well in the next life.