Sunday, July 25, 2010


(New Series No. 160, October 2001)

The present has immensely shrunk the space and time for discussions, but still, everyone, somehow arranging some time and space, talks to each other, in their own ways. Conversations happen while coming to and going from places of work. People talk during lunch-time, during tea-time, while drinking water and going to the bathroom. Even while doing work, there are discussions. People do take out 10-15 minutes for conversations before the end of the shift. In the factory, discussions about what problems are there are the time of course take place- most of the talks are on that issue, and in that discussions different ideas emerge. Many a time, the atmosphere is such that no one directly asks what is happening. Rather, they come to the issue, covering it up with this or that, during discussions. Talks in the home and the laborhood, talks when going to buy vegetabless. Normally, all kinds of discussions take place. Still, it is heard from many workers:

"Workers are not saying anything"

Agreed, that our conversations in the sphere of my-my your-yours and which are meant to make us look superior or extremely inferior are harmful for us. And, back-biting, of course, is damaging. However, thine-mine interactions, our conversations, talks and practices of helping each other and close coordinations also go on. It is thus obvious that when it is said that "workers are not saying anything," it means something else altogether.

"Workers are not saying" really means: solutions are not forthcoming to the problem being faced. Rallies, demonstrations, speech-making are not happening. Nobody is directly saying things to management, touts, leaders. The desire for a brave savior is not being fulfilled.

Herculean labors to save others (Lifting Mount Govardhan on a finger)

In fact, we are all well aware of the present arrangments. Everyone knows that today s/he is extremely insignificant. What conclusions do we draw from this true recognition of reality? Our insignificance many a time encourages us to search for saviors in an avatar, a messiah, a superhuman. We worship and perform rituals, we fast, participate in religious singing groups, listen to religious discourses, run from pillar to post behind musclemen, leader, lawyer. The wait for a true avatar, a true prophet, a true guru, a genuine savior does not carry a halt/brake on our increasing suffering. What do our experiences of the quest for a messiah tell us? May it not be that we are waiting for the Ganges to flow in the reverse direction?

One mode could also be this: each one of us can pick up one pebble rather than trying to lift a mountain single-handedly. Each one's creativity and activeness can continuously go on as per one's own convenience and style. We insignificant, inferior, subordinate persons, through our close coordinations can soon enough lift the Himalayas, Mt. Govardhan is merely a tiny hill.

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