The Common People in India

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Affluence in Indian society is on the rise. Middle class is richer than ever before. Before twenty years a human being could earn a little more admiration if he bought a car. Now-a-days cars are very common sights. In the wee hours, the sleepy streets have cars lined up on them which appear as though in deep slumber. No-sex-before-marriage is taboo. The fast changing trends in the society have brought in their wakes new paradigms for living.

Saints are very busy now-a-days. Their monasteries are equipped with state-of-the-art gadgets. Computers with fast internet connections, mobile phones and expensive vehicles give those holy places looks of corporate headquarters. Yoga in basic and advanced courses is offered on the platters while wooing the followers worldwide. Discourses are given on the arts of living. Highest number of events is hosted by the monasteries across the county and around the globe. The globe-trotting ‘sadhus’ from this sub-continent impart the lessons from ‘Srimad Bhagwat Gita’ to teach the millions across the world about paths for enlightenment.

We hear about the sad plight of a common man in India. Our perception is a common man is a human being reeling under the burdens of tax, poverty and inflation. We are compelled to comprehend there that in ‘for the people, by the people and of the people’ philosophy of functioning under democracy, a common man is a doomed sight of endemic suffering, invariably falling prey to the social , political and economical mores.

A common man is a common feature in every discussion.  Who is a common man? Is he an honest tax payer? But dear friends, the income –tax limits have been increased giving spacious accommodations to the income grades.

I asked my buddy about the definition of a common man, who was very knowledgeable. I queried up that whether those without any political affiliations, without larger incomes, struggling below the poverty line are the ‘common people’.

Pat came his vexed reply-“don’t you have common sense”?

Newspapers are littered with news of threats of oncoming strikes. Fill up our demands or else there would be no work from a particular date and we will start hunger strikes, if possible make everyone’s life hellish.

Is the above voice from common people? How do we base every planning of governance on them who dissent with aggression at every step taken by the democratic set-up?

Since our freedom in 1947, we delved into our social fabrics, rummaging through the castes, sub-castes, touchable and the untouchable, backwards and forwards and ultimately launched schemes for them with reservations in every thing. Today more than half of this sub continent is staggering under the deadly weight of Maoism resulting in volcanic violence between people and administration. But who are these so called people advocating heinous violence of Maoism and fighting a pitched battle with the security forces and the consequences are the senseless killings of innumerable people. They are the common people in the backward tribal areas for whom we formed schemes for growth –who got every other privilege from the government in the last sixty two years of independence.

Lately in a TV show anchored by a female journalist and in the presence of many distinguished people from the society, there was a hot discussion about a stigma in our society. The topic was ‘prostitution’. All had shown their seriousness in derogating a profession like that in brothels, hotels, highways and at other places. What a pitiable profession and the invariable tortures it inflicts on the sex workers! The listeners were held in awe. Finally we saw three members from the same profession seated in that show. One of them with a buxom appearance was asked a question about her sad experience that how she was coerced into this. The anchor wanted to know that whether her relatives had brought her to the city under pretexts and there she was lured into this profession. The buxom astonished everybody with her mind-boggling comment.

“No”-she said-“I was selling washing detergent powder in the city for fifteen hundred bucks every month. When I saw that I could mint money from this trade, I simply opted out and began this”.

“Do you mean to say, this is a better profession”- An eminent ex-police officer snapped at her while asking this?

“Yes, what’s wrong with this? If your son is working in IT and he can hop from one company to another for more money, then why this is considered bad and unethical”-The prostitute retorted.

The lady from the brothel and the ex-cop were having an eye-to-eye ball and at the threshold of starting a fist-cuff when the anchor intervened and calmed them down.

After all it was a discussion.

There was nothing for which they should lose your temper.

I wonder where I can place that lady. Can she be included in the ‘common people’ category?

I remember reading somewhere. That commonsense is the mother of all strategy. So common sense is not so common. It depends on one’s IQ that how much he can exercise his commonsense.

So dear readers the common man is very uncommon. He is omni-present, omni-potent and omniscient.

Of course the politicians sometimes commit the mistake of forgetting that.


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