Anna Hazare & Questions on Democracy (Part 2)

23 Aug

It is being said that the crowds that come to Anna Hazare’s movement are all middle class and not the general population. What is your opinion?


Almost everyone has answered this one. In all the movements that have ever happened, not only in India, but all over the world, the first and foremost to participate are the middle classes. Marxist principles state so too – in different words.

Only the middle class is able to spend their attention on contemporary politics and to observe and understand beyond day to day problems. Only they are sufficiently educated. And they are the ones that have sufficent access to communication.

All the peoples’ movements that have occurred in India have been conducted by the middle classes. They were in the forefront of Gandhi’s struggle. They were the ones who brought forward Communist movements. During the 1960s, it was the educated middle class youth of Bengal that brought forth Left wing extremism. In the 1980s,  educated middle class dalit youth started Dalit movements.

Movements started by the middle classes will gain participation from lower strata of society only after they gain momentum. There are almost no exceptions to this rule. We see in world history that even after lower classes participate, most of the control over the movement remains with the middle classes. They remain its  controlling forces. The lower class participation will be agitated and loosely structured.

But when the movement continues for some time, it’s the lower classes that sustain it. The middle class loses hope easily. Easily it falters. We have seen this many times in Gandhi’s movements.

Its a common rule that even in a usual trade union protest, its the white shirt workers who start it and that the blue shirt works participate later on and that once they enter, the blue shirts will sustain it.

Left wing groups are always controlled by educated middle classes. But they will call their protests as people’s movements. They will label other movements as ‘middle class’.

For this too, the answer which I gave earlier on. Many of those who say this are observing a people’s movement or a movement for the first time. Hence these inane speeches.


This is a translation  of a blog post from Tamil writer Jeyamohan’s blog.  This was in response to a letter from a reader.

Translation from:


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