Well this may look like a betrayal of the class to which I belong but if it is be it so. There is a limit to which one can tolerate hypocrisy and this class has gone far beyond that. The latest in this is the venom spewed against the JNU, its student leaders, the dalit groups at IITM, Central university of Hyderabad and such. In fact a judge who gave six month bail to the president of the JNU students union granted it with the rider that she will be keeping a watch on his conduct and a sermon on patriotism. Which made me ruminate over this topic and analyze it from a view point which could be said to be contrarian and anti national too as nowadays the old adage call a dog a name and hang it has been changed to call those who have views contrary to yours as antinationals and then charge them with sedition!
Let us take on the attitudes of the great Indian middle aka the great Indian hypocrites unbounded. They speak about black money stashed abroad how it affects the economy and so on. But, when it comes to selling your land, flat or anything else the unaccounted payment is welcome. How about the black money in Swiss banks and the promises to bring it back? Well that has gone out of the country, this money stays inside! So, that is acceptable. How about the undervaluation of the assets that you are investing in? That is to save on the stamp duty! Why should the money go the government? Yes we keep on carping about corruption but how about the little bribe you paid at the RTO’s office? If I did not do that they would keep the document for days and harass me! So, goes on the litany of the woes of the great Indian middle class. Who would always speak about values, corruption, black money transactions that the others to but would not like to apply the same to themselves.
Well, our middle class has got a great fetish for ‘merit’. The reservations for dalit-bahujans are all a great affront to meritocracy. Abolish them immediately and let everything be merit based. For which some dalits have replied- abolish the caste system first and then reservations. Well for people who have been ill treated, exploited since centuries a little affirmative action would go a long way to help them to join the mainstream. Well, it brings down the standards! How about the payment seats? They are given to those who can pay the highest how about that? Then comes the argument of right of choice etc… For those who speak about merit how about conducting competitive exams for the posts of pujaris in temples? Those who get the highest marks in Sanskrit should be appointed to such posts. Then comes the argument of tradition and inheritance. It is the tradition that dalits should remain untouchable, uneducated and economically back ward and only the children of the upper castes (of course to which the middle class belongs). How about the reservation on the boards of directors of companies most of whose capital comes from public shareholding? Of course the same applies to other religious institutions like mosques, churches (not the Roman Catholic ones!) and probably to all. In case of Roman Catholics since the clergy is supposed to be celibate, it is the class and many times the caste that is more important. If you wonder what caste has to do with Christianity remember that it is only the religion that they got converted to, caste is by birth! So, there goes ‘merit’ down the drain.
The middle class is a great one for taxes and the ‘tax payer’s money’. The way they rave about misuse of tax payer’s money would put a scrooge to shame! If a scholarship is given to a lower caste person coming from a humble background say a Kanhaiya or a Rohith it is tax payers money down the drain because they are studying liberal arts or such. How about the money gone down the drain when 90% of the IITians and those passing from medical institutes (the state run ones I mean which pay the post graduates a handsome stipend) migrate abroad? They would have gone to serve the humanity or to advance scientific knowledge forget their taking up citizenships there and having no plans of returning to repay the huge sums paid for their education by the tax payers! Many a time they act as if they are the only ones who pay taxes and others don’t! However when recently debts worth a lakh and a half crores were written off there was not a whimper of protest from them. The very same people who cry foul at grants given to JNU have not uttered a word about the Vijay Mallyas, Satyam Rajus, Subroto Roy and their ilk, who had swallowed huge amounts of the very same tax payers had earned money. Perhaps they are true patriots like Vijaya Mallya of the Kingfisher airlines (in)fame who has now migrated to England in a display of patriotic fervour! It is as if only income tax payers pay tax while those like excise duty, value added tax are not taxes at all. I know many such tax payers who pay it on a quarter of their income while suppressing the rest. There are even those whose incomes are almost totally unaccounted and show only minimum taxable income to qualify as ‘tax payers’ and comment about others!
What gets the goat of the middle class are the subsidies particularly when they are given to the poor. It makes them lazy, dependent and idle! They do not mind having unlimited supply of water for which they pay a pittance, the servants whom they employ for a song and can survive only by the low cost of the food inputs. They make a fuss when their driver demands a thousand more per month but pay lakhs to clubs. They expect the mothers, brothers and sisters of Kanhaiya and Rohith to work for a pittance while ranting about subsidies to them! Perhaps it must be their fear that they will not get such people to work for them for sweat shop wages if they get educated and ask for their rights. When it comes to paying fair wages for them the whole of the middle class gets united- if a maid servant asks for more all the house wives discuss their ‘servant problems’ and try to brow beat them.
Our middle class is a great admirer of the armed forces. It is not that their children go there but they would like the children of others to joint the armed forces. They talk of ‘demoralising’ them if any one criticizes their atrocities, talk of their families who should be looked after in comfort when they are away but of course when a father of one such working for the air force is lynched on the suspicion of having beef in his refrigerator(which later turned out to be some other meat) the very suspicion of some one having slaughtered gau mata is justifiable to kill him! How about sending your children to serve the country? Recall the words of the great general George S. Patton? “Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” This is what our middle class practices! So, here we have those whose children are doctors, software engineers well settled preferably abroad speak of sacrifices for the country.
They are patriots to the core and wear it on their sleeve. How about your children who are American citizens? That is all right but their heart lies in India – must be a case of ectopic heart! We have the children of these great patriots who stay abroad but whose heart bleeds for India. They speak about ancient glories, the greatness of Indian values and all that sitting in the comforts of the developed nations where they have taken up citizenship. It is not they want to but were forced by the circumstances!
More and more could be listed out but I think these would do. Glory be to the hypocrites of the great Indian middle class!