Many Straws Make a Nest: A Documentary about Proletarian Unrest in Delhi's Industrial Belt
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Thursday, June 3, 2010
(December 2002, New Series No. 274)
The peasant-artisan prescription of labor for relief has itself become a disease…
Instead of one, two, three, four crops during less work in the villages, artisans-workers going to cities to slog; rearing cows and buffalo for selling milk; farming chicken and fish; daily rounds of the market for seed-medicine-fertilizer-cotton seed-animal feed for buying these, for repairing motor fan and for selling grains, vegetables, eggs, milk, butter; also open a small shop.... In attempts to somehow stay afloat, people's bodies are taut all the time. And...increasing numbers going bankrupt are being eaten up by the idle, empty, and endless time. Where to go? What to do? To tell the increasing army of unemployed that they don't "work hard" is to pour molten lead in their arms.
Disappearance of time, of leisure...Time, leisure becoming a burden. Both carry the turmoil for the soul. For peace of the soul, refuge in the sects is a mirage. Even a learned philosopher of those sitting on heads and shoulders had said 100-125 years ago that God is dead. It is true that even with the discoveries of science, technical means and management research being covered by mysterious paraphenalia, the incarnation of dead gods are still collecting crowds around them. But despite the use of all marketing techniques, the arenas and effects of sects and gurus are diminishing. The major modern networks of those sitting on heads and shoulders to tie up and pierce souls encourages the obsession for consumption and increases the army of degree holder psychiatrists. The lust for consumption and the hypocrisy of degree holders who blame the victims are one up on the gods. They are also very much fatal. Competition is swallowing normalcy and simplicity.
Again, the same question. What to do? In the present, each person is encircled and entrapped to such a degree that each one of us has to make innumerable compromises. Every day we have to bear such terrible things that our soul gets battered. Each day we ourselves commit such bad acts that we cannot speak about them. We cover these up in the garb of that which is forced upon us and try to placate our conscience. That which we felt was imposed on us, was it actually forced or was it put on? Should I have done this or should not have accepted that? Conflicts of this type churn inside us...
Whatever claims of being all-powerful we may be making on the outside, it is usually the case that at all times we find ourselves helpless. Generally, it is knowing that one is helpless that makes us fall in our own eyes. To look at oneself degradingly, lack of respect of a person for him or herself is very wide today and only increasing. And this lack of respect for oneself is expressed in disrespect for others.
More or less, such is the situation with each one of us. Therefore, those whom we come in close contact with, those whom we know intimately, towards them open or camouflaged disrespect is very large. Those who are far away, those whom we come into contact only once in awhile, those whom we know very little, with them it becomes easier to produce the sentiment of respect rather than actual respect. It is very fatal for the victim to blame him or herself in his or her inner thoughts or to find other victims as the culprits. This ensures our own entrapment and viscious encirclement. Disrespect for those near to us and looking down on one another are among the major obstacles towards coordination with those close to us. Coordination amongst nearby ones are the point of departure to break the encirclement.
That we contend- isn't it in itself the basis for respect? Aren't our souls yearning for truth, love, respect, adequate basis for respect? The issue is not of overlooking others misdeeds or one's bad deeds. Rather, instead of, cursing oneself, others, the issue is of taking such steps that people encircled by compulsions can easily take. The feeling of helplessness of person is a strong basis for efforts to create a new society.