Almost 20 years have passed since the overly hyped economic reforms of 1991. In 20 years many things change. The high hopes associated with Economic reforms have brought huge amounts of economic inequality to the country. Condition of farmers and workers have become worse. Many important welfare sectors have been privatized or are today thrown at the whims and fancies of corporate players.
Speaking of the middle classes, in 20 years, Manmohan Singh has transformed from a middle-class hero to a poor administrator. The middle class of India loved Manmohan Singh because he was was educated, honest and his reforms of 1991 had put money in their pockets. After the 2G, CWG and Adarsh housing scams in UPA-II, the umbilical chord bond between MMS and the middle-classes has broken.
MMS was able to push for economic reforms, but terribly failed to bring in political reforms to canalise the goodwill of the reforms. The effect of this was spiralling in nature. During UPA-I, the strongest criticism MMS faced was he was weak and ineffective. Such healthy criticism was fine. But it all changed in the UPA-II. By the end of 2010, the scandals and corruption overwhelmed the UPA-II. MMS has lost face in the middle class.
There are two reasons for this. First is economic crisis. The middle class is angry and somehow believes that the prime minister is responsible for not being able to handle inflation. The second reason for his downfall is uncontrolled corruption. People are not willing to accept that an honest man cannot do much to fight the corruption around him on his own. If the country fails to grow inclusively, we are heading towards disaster. One more elections, and the baton will be passed to the other political party and the situations will go from bad to worse. The sooner UPA is able to control it, the better it is.