The political costs of rising prices
Back in Mumbai, Yukti met up with her contractor. He told her property prices are going to come down in the next 2 - 3 months with a change in the ruling party. When she asked him why does he think that power will change hands; his reason was the rise in prices and how difficult it was for the aam junta (common man) to survive economically.
When Yukti tried giving him her perspective about how much the Manmohan-Chidambaram team had done, he wasn't convinced.
She thinks that its really difficult to have your pulse on the common man and the thinking man at the same time. And then she asks, how does one frame policies & to please whom? Is it based on which section of society has a larger influence on the votes? And again, she warns that the thinking audience not only has a smaller proportion among the total polity, they may also be cynical about voting!
Hmmm...what can I say?
The common man's not the thinking man and vice-versa? Maybe. Goes to show why 'intellectualising' is such a failure. The aam aadmi cares nothing about intellectual arguments. Its about prices. They are 'up' and that's what they are bothered about. Will 'rising prices' become a political liability? Yes and No. Yes, if the aam aadmi has not been part of the economic prosperity that globalisation and liberalisation has brought about. Now that scenario contrasts with the one that is seen in places like Bangalore. The middle-class here has been the greatest beneficiary of the economic boom. Semi-Urban populaces are turning urban. Increasing disposable incomes have cushioned rising prices, though its still a lot of concern. But not to the extent that it translates into anger against the UPA (read, Congress party).
As to whether I am right or wrong, the elections in Karnataka (tomorrow) will stand in testimony. Will wait and let you know.