June 2, 2012
“For practical purposes Aam Aadmi does not exist. Aam Aadmi is supposed to be the boss for whom the elected representatives need to serve.”
I was one day watching Aamir Khan’s reality show, ‘Satyamev Jayate,’ (SMJ) aired on Star Plus and Doordarshan which has captured the public imagination, portraying the plight of the little known Indians. It has gripped the conscience of many a citizen. The life stories of people are heart-warming, never heard or read of on newspapers and never ever highlighted by news channels. It has woken up several government bodies to issues never attended to. I just sat silent for a while. Isn’t this a show for our politicians to pause over and renew their commitment as servants of our country?
Then the familiar term, ‘Aam Aadmi,’ crossed my mind. Aam aadmi is present everywhere, yet he is left unrecognized on most occasions, by the majority, except during elections. This term has been a hit among people, a creation by the “democratic government” of our nation (not to mention any political party, since none is trustworthy), known to be a weapon of the people, by the people and for the people. But it has never been with the people.
A venture like Janata Darshan (a day for hearing the woes of the public) introduced by various CM’s and governors in the south aimed at showing compassion for aam aadmi and his issues was unheard of several years ago. But is it only on one day of a week that the aam aadmi suffers? Has he been sufficiently listened to and attended to? Have the pleas seen any serious follow up? Has it borne fruit or has it become an eyewash, an advertisement for forthcoming polls? The above dilemma continues to make the aam aadmi impatient. The struggle of the unrecognized aam aadmi of our country still continues. He can never become Aamir (rich).
We have heard of many Yatras. All are aimed to appease the ordinary aam aadmi. Yet they just portray the pomp and glamour giving a jolt to his pockets. Yes, yatras are aimed at wooing the rural men and women, destroying their dreams, aspirations and essence in life.
Who is this Aam Aadmi?
According to G Nandalen, “Aam Aadmi appears in different avatars – farmer, weaver, labourer, coolie, beggar, cobbler, roadside vendor and pavement dweller.” I wish to add sex worker to the above quote. He is known by different names. – Dalit, immigrant, illiterate, unemployed, transgender. He is like the heat around us, though we know of it, yet we despise it when we are comfortable. He suffers and remains unexplored. He lives in huts, footpaths, villages and slums.
He is manipulated and hypnotized on most occasions by giving liquor or cash for votes. He is remembered and given wide prominence and honour on Kisan Day, Ambedkar Jayanti and Assembly polls. All discussions, conferences and seminars are on Aam aadmi. But the same Aam aadmi rolls over his back painfully, when petrol prices are raised, when mining disrupts right to life, policies of development get delayed due to vested interests and so on. Yet Aam aadmi is religious at the core – ready to offer cash, jewels as offering, tonsuring his head in surrender to the deity.
All budgets focus on aam aadmi. But not one comes to complete fulfillment. This implies that for practical purposes aam aadmi does not exist. Aam admi is supposed to be the boss for whom the elected representatives need to serve.
Today news channels are wasting their time in useless discussions with those that are against Aam aadmi. Is Metro project for Aam aadmi? It is to increase the already comfortable affluent of society.
The concept of globalization was to make the world a global village, minimize distance and smoothen accessibility. The new age novelty we see today is mainly focused on – more food, more technology, more chemicals, more pollution. As a result of the individual comfort mechanisms globalization has created people who are more poor.
Globalised culture has led humans to three new evils at the core:
- Aham Aadmi - Individualism (Ego)
Global market has mesmerized all including the common man about ways of being independent. Peace and happiness have been defined in abstract terms to woo the customers. The need for social interdependence has vanished. Altruism has become obsolete for most. People no longer think of others. Thus it has led to the replacement of ‘Aam’ with ‘Aham aadmi.’ Aham has led to increase in corruption.
- Fragmentation - No time to listen to each other
Fragmentation has destroyed ‘we’ feeling. The sacred concept and purpose of family has vanished. Our homes no longer nurture good personalities. There is more division among people on basis of class, caste, creed in spite of advancement in technology and way of life. People have begun to marry outside religion and cultures. Live-in relationships are a common phenomenon. Divorces have increased five times.
Every industry is thinking of efficiency in terms of better gadgets. More the number of gadgets, less is the level of communication at the societal level. Self-sufficiency has creeped in. “More gadgets, more happiness,” seems to be the slogan of the day.
Materialistic world has de-humanized Homo sapiens. There is no guilt when one commits a crime or robs one’s neigbour. Even children of the age of two are well versed with the use of cell phone and laptop which can hamper their innocence. Humans have qualified in selfishness.
The tagline of the episode ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (SMJ) says, dil pe lagegi, tabhi baat banegi (when it touches our heart, we begin to think and talk about it). The shocking testimonies and interviews of fellow Indians open up the world of aam admi.
If India needs to change we need individuals who can forget their Aham (ego) and think of the other. We need more transparent individuals and policies, not governments that suck the blood out of aam aadmi through corrupt practices. Corruption and unlawful activities can find an end only if Aham goes out of us.
Do you and I, belong to this category? If yes, then we have the right to speak and fight for justice. If we do not, at least can we think, speak and write on behalf of them?
Lancy Fernandes - Archives: