Why India’s middle classes are Modi’s ‘Muslims’

One key headline-point from the Narendra Modi government’s latest Budget is the raising of top tax rates for the rich earning more than Rs 2 crore a year. The increase is steeper for the super-rich — above Rs 5 crore per year. The top tax rate now goes to 42.3 per cent. It seems like such an awful example of the Indira Gandhi-style ‘soak-the-rich’ politics, people like us might say.Many others in deeply pink polity would hail it as uplifting evidence that Modi too has fully embraced the principles of socialism as mandated in the Constitution’s post-Emergency preamble. Never mind that he leads India’s most unabashed government of the Right into its second term.

Both are wrong. Because the Modi government isn’t really soaking the rich, but the middle classes, who also happen to be its most loyal vote bank. Question: Is their unquestioning loyalty the reason the government can afford to treat them like this?

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Anju Yadav

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