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Gulfnews: The common man continues to suffer

Posted by abyjain on August 11, 2007

–> Gulfnews: The common man continues to suffer <– the root cause of this post

There’s a decently written article on the link above on how the “common man” continues to suffer in India after 60 years of independence. Sentences from the said editorial goes like this – “But why should all the sacrifice and suffering be the fate of the common man? He gave his all during the independence movement. What about those who wallow in luxuries in every regime and in every clime?”

My polite submission to the writer is… why are we assuming that the “common man” fought for independence? I’d believe that it was the uncommon and gritful man who fought… and for every other achievement of India/Indians or over the world… it is the uncommon man who does something. The plight of some many in India is such only because they choose to be “common” and carry it on their shoulders like a weapon. It is the common doctor in Indian hospitals who goes on strike because he is not paid enough for (not) working, it is the common hawaldar who asks for a bribe when you have already been robbed… and it is the common minister who makes sure the development of the masses just does not happen.

Of course I agree with a lot of stuff that is written in the article, but the author forgets that the privatisation and other recent evils that he talks about were absent till a decade or two ago. I’m sure India was doing much worse with the so-called Hindu rate of growth then. At least now I see myself moving forward economically and with my standard of living. And of course this is not a one-off statement. Who can deny that there is a sense of well-being and optimism all over the (urban side at least that I know of) country. A lot of things are wrong in the country, and a lot of us, including myself, have done precious little to make it better… but let’s just stop using the “common” platform as a weapon to get everything for free. If education will remain a low priority of the people, and if archaic belief systems that put whole families in debt will not be shed then the farmers that our high commissioner talks about will continue to die.

The “Common man” in India can not do well… he can not be prosperous, and hence can not be happy… at least not in the near future. The reason for that is simple… there are too many common men & women in our country. With the productivity levels that we have, especially on the agriculture side… prosperity is not possible for 1 billion+ common men. If one does not have the courage to be uncommon, then one should not complain… I think. After all… you’re doing as well as the average! And our population pyramid does not permit us to distribute freebies to such numbers. It is NOT, and I would repeat –NOT a crime for an Azim Premji or Sunil Mittal or anyone else to earn as much as they do… we perhaps forget the amount of jobs and careers that they have helped create. These gentlemen are perhaps far more helpful in building the lives of some of the common Indians than any politician who served s@%ewed India… or the ones who established the huge monoliths of public enterprise that not only suck in taxpayer money but also provide electricity or phone services or civic amenities at pathetic levels of competence.

Those who wallow in luxury in every regime and every clime (from the linked article) are precious few, if they exist at all. Everyone, I am sure, has had to fight for what they have sooner or later, whether it was Dhirubhai Ambani or the Birlas or Tatas. Let us not sell them so short and assume that just connections or simple bribery or some magic wand from Diagon Alley made them billionaires and they wallowed in the lap of luxury ever after.

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