The new citizens

Issue 10 - Jan 2008

Ravikiran Rao

The answer lies in the increasing urbanisation of the voter. The urban voter is more likely to make up his mind by watching television. It is less likely that the choice is mediated by caste leaders. It is more likely that this citizen cares one way or the other about national level issues, such as industrial policy and national security. This citizen is more likely to directly engage with a leader from another state. It is of course a tautology that urban voters are more likely to care about urban issues.

Many analysts have pointed out that the urban middle class is not necessarily more liberal than the current voter. They are right. If anything, it is more likely to support Hindutva than the rural poor. The glimmer of hope is in initiating the national debate, not obtaining the conclusion that liberals want.

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