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- Health in the Village
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
The unsaid class issues.
One day, some months ago, a footpath lady we used to regularly buy things from, and who had become a friend, we realized was charging us more than other customers.
My daughter was hurt. I realized I too was. It was as if the relationship has not lived up to its trust.
Then I took a deep breath, pushed the sense of pain under the carpet, and faced the facts, and showed my daughter also the facts. We have hardly lived upto any relationship. We live in a nice home, and the lady, lives in a small house in a slum. We may give her some gifts of sweets or sarees or money when her house went under water. But the reality is that she is very poor and we are at the other end of the spectrum.
As a class, given our class privileges, holding onto inherited privileges, we keep the poor poor by underpaying in ways that keeps them on the brink of survival. The emperor has no clothes. The emperor is We.
(And the more closely one engages with the poor, the more we realize our own deep duplicity. The mirror does not lie. What I have seen in the mirror down the years has not been nice.)
Prakash Thangavel I face this dilemma often. Should I turn a blind eye towards cheating because of their poverty or chide them? Coconuts always go by a sack without notice and work is mostly left unfinished, but still the relationship has endured, for 50 years. Hope it does for another 50..
Aparna Krishnan I think we need to look at the far vaster cheating we do. Structured, legalized and universally accepted. While that goes on, every other cheating will also get nurtured, illiya.
Aparna Krishnan Its theory - in practice we feel 'cheated'. I feel 'cheated'. Thats how deep our sense of entitlement is !
Prakash Thangavel Far more cheating happens in corporate products and we cannot raise our voice. As usual, we go for comparatively cheaper products thinking we have outsmarted them, but as a cartel they have fixed a base price and one cannot go beyond that.