Let me start with a very generic question. Who is actually a ‘common man’ in India? Someone who works in a 6x6 office cabin or cubicle, leads a monotonous life without anticipating any dramatic changes, has got single-minded responsibility to look after his family and fulfilling their needs, pushing back his own priorities to lead a luxurious life to backseat. Instances are many and a continuous introspection would lead to more yardsticks.
In India, the term ‘common man’ is looked upon with much ‘interest’ and is ‘deliberately’ neglected as well. A majority of Indians consider themselves to be ‘poor,’ for, they feel they still lack way behind western way of living. Now, the question is, what actually a common man confesses (read discuss), when he sits down with a cup of tea, lights up cigar or sips whisky, along with those who carry the ‘common’ tag? It should not be a tough guess, considering they weather almost a vista of storm, without much hue and cry. They rue about the attitude of government, inefficiency of administration, discrepancies of bureaucracy, loop holes in law and order, soaring prices, family, domestic issues and so on.
Features of a common man in India are quite simple. They live a modest life, never fascinate too much about spending an evening at a coffee shop or restaurant and never go out with his peers and friends too often; he is more of a family man. He hardly socializes, devotes a considerable amount of time towards his family. He prefers to buy stuffs from simple road side market rather than taking a stroll in and around chic and swanky malls or departmental stores. He is not concerned about the quality of food in a road side ‘Dhaba’, does not hesitate to drink water from running tape. Can we call him ‘poor’ or ‘compelled?’ Of course, not! Then what? Is he shy or just loves to lead a simple life?
The most possible ‘truth’ could be the sheer pressure of providing a close to ‘upscale’ life to his family. And in order to do so, with passage of time, he subdues his own dream, fascination, imagination, desires and all. To meet the demands of his wife and children, he loses his sleep night after night, works over time year after year….tolerates filthy language and abusive behavior of his superiors, because for him, his family is most important.
He compromises with life, accepts everything, no matter in which and what form it comes. To get his son/daughter admitted to a good college or institute, he invests his lifelong savings, to fulfill their ever increasing demands; he floods their wallet with enormous amount of cash. While back at home, he leads a modest and simplest life. He might skip a day’s meal, but makes sure, his wife and children never sleep with an empty stomach.
Still, he manages to sport a smile, when he notices everyone having a good time on dining table. Throughout his life, he might have never cared about travelling in first class coaches, availing flight could have been beyond his imagination, but to make each and every wish of his family come true, he spills some extra bucks, yet never complains.
This is happening in almost every Indian family. These can’t be directly termed as ‘problems’ of a common man, but it’s true that it exposes the economic disparity prevalent in our country. These ‘common men’ forms the workforce, rather the backbone of each and every sector in India, be it private or public. They work harder and longer than anyone else, but rarely gets any ‘reward or gift’ in return.
While those who are lazily ‘seated,’ they are making fast cash through ‘immoral and unethical’ ways, while, for a common man, indulging in an act of corruption is like a ‘grave sin.’ Honesty and integrity are hallmark of their work ethics. Values and principles are something, they have been upholding since a long period of time and would continue to do so.
Don’t you feel, their family & children should get ‘reservations’ of sorts, they truly deserve? Our country never lags behind in promoting the ‘creamy layer’ in the pretext of developing weaker sections, but apart from that ‘cream,’ lies another invisible layer - a layer which has no voice, but has sensations. It never reacts, just suffers.
How long this would continue? When a common man’s dream of owning a car and house shall come true? India is considered to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but can anyone explain, why there are still some gray areas? Why a common man still suffers and is deprived of certain facilities? When can we expect to witness a certain degree of economic uniformity in India?
Angad/Sanchar Express Network