What burgeoned as a casual observation in my head led to me being convinced of it being an ongoing trend in the Indian society. The middle class of our society is increasingly becoming obsessed with saving fuel and money while the luxury class, on the other hand, is inclined on burning fuel and money with both of them co-existing in the same scenario. The luxury class is buying bikes like Ducati that cost a bomb while giving minimal mileage while the middle class is purchasing motorcycles which are high on mileage rather than money. The rising popularity of diesel vehicles as compared to their expensive petrol counterparts is just another sign of the above trend.
The government should look into this carefully. We should perhaps subsidize any cars that fall below the C-segment category and tax more C and above C- segment vehicles. BMWs should cost more and vehicles like Scorpio diesel should undergo a price reduction. Some section of the society wants to save fuel while some want to burn fuel. It’s time we rewarded the efforts of this former section. There should not be a blanket hike on diesel cars. Any diesel car with mileage more than 20 km/h should be subsidized. The Indian middle class is more worried in saving fuel and money while the rich class is less sensitive in spite of being more aware of the environmental dangers. The recent ad of Maruti reinforces this growing mentality of the middle class with the punch line being “ Kitna Deti Hai?
The less sensitivity of the rich class towards saving fuel vis-a-vis the middle class is one of those cultural conflicts which will always be there. The middle class is asking for the right things while the rich class should feel guilty about wasting resources which are becoming scarce. It’s time to recognize the middle class’s service to the nation and not scrutinizing their reasons for doing so.
The author is National Creative Director, Leo Burnett