Saturday, 18 June 2011

Anyone for brown collar job?

Is there anyone for brown collar job? (metafiction)

Brown collar job means farming agriculture etc. – as an art.

Farming is a highest form of art; a compound of art and science; the beginning of biotechnology (current biotechnology, now, is in the safe custody of intellectual property rights); and constant contact with five primal elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space, as some Indians believe.

However in the Age of ET-IT who would be ready for such a job, in India? Today 'mostpeople' [1] prefer white collar or blue caller job; job that pays cash and perks! Who does need to work that feeds! Haven’t their forefathers made enough estate!

Who does wish to toil in soil-muck, sun-rain-cold? Soil has become ‘untouchable’ in the age of progress and development, and the farmers are non-entities.

"Farming is best, Commerce is medium, Service is low"

When was it we often heard this idiom? Our nation, then, was on the threshold of Independence. What dreams did our toiling peasants may have had seen?

Water Woes –1: Taxing the life of the displaced Indian peasants in Mumbai
Today, however, we notice a different scenario. The farmers are debt-ridden, some chose to commit suicide, they are left without literacy and appropriate education for six decades, their life-line – land – is legally acquired for the benefit of the First World India.

Water Woes –2: Taxing the life of the displaced Indian peasants in Mumbai
They are getting displaced from their ancestral homestead as a price of India’s progress and development. Millions of displaced villagers move to cities, megacities in hordes. You could notice them in towns, cities and mega-cities in the slums and along transit lines.

Field days for commission agents

And now commission agents, pimps of progress, have a field day to make hay, and to reap profits in free trade and globalized market. From the farms to the end-users, the farm-products go through a chain of brokers and sub-brkers.

Now, we hear, it is alleged that even employment in bureaucracy has 'extra' earning according to the status in the hierarchy.

Bureaucracy everywhere

As a result bureaucracy has penetrated from schooling to institutions – not only governmental institutions but also other public and private, social and political organizations
. It has entered even in the ancient institution of 'family': it is worth investigating the break up of family, which has been the unit of community (i.e. a cohesive collective), most essential for democracy.

Alienation of the educated

The root cause of 'alienation of the educated' is in the mass education started by the British. Any changes subsequently made in the prevailing education system in the independent India have been superficial by knee-jerk reaction, which do not take account of the culture of plural mass (sic) society.

“Pangira” – Marathi movie exempted from entertainment tax

'Pangira' is a recent movie in regional language, Marathi. It is about the plight of farmers. It is more of a documentary, though it has a story based on a Marathi novel by Mr. Vishvas Patil. Maharashtra government obviously has exempted it from entertainment tax.

The movie ends with a gory event – police firing on agitated farmers, killing several of them. Such violence is a typical in movies and reality.

Unfortunately, the movie ends at an event where it should have started! Firing and killing the farmers is not the end / answer to farmers' plight. This story / movie has missed an opportunity provide creative alternative to the system.

This reminds us of a novel by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, 'Pather Dabi' (The Demand of the Road, 1926), based on armed uprising for freedom of India. It was banned by the British. The ban was lifted after Independence. The book ends with constructive creative option in precise words. We quote a specific paragraph near the end of novel:
Sarat Chandra Chatterjee wrote about 100 years ago [2]

“... from now onwards to serve village is my only solemn vow. Once there was such a time that village was life of our agrarian country Bharat. Village only was her bone-vein-blood. Today that village is on the way of destruction, the elite leave village and come to a city, from city itself they wield power upon village and from there they do exploit them. If they have any relation it is only this, none other. May they not keep? But until now the farmer who provided them with food for belly and cloth for body, that same farmer today is starving, is illiterate, and is haplessly on the way to death! Now onwards I shall devout myself for their welfare. Bharati also has agreed to help me wholeheartedly in this work. Now we will open school in villages. if need be, she accepted to teach children moving from house to house. My sanyas is for the country - not for myself, doctor."

Every year lakhs of science graduates come out of universities; some of them are biologists or botanists. Most of them end up doing clerical jobs. Their learning in science disciplines does never leave the laboratory and come "down to earth"!
1. The term “mostpeople” is used by poet E. E. Cummings referring to people who don’t practice creativity.
2. This quote is translated from Marathi translation titled “Savyasachi” by the late B. V. Varerkar, and not from the original in Bengali (pages 399-400). It is only for information in simple language.

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