Most middle class households in India have a maid servant for various household duties like mopping floors, cleaning utensils, washing clothes and the like. We treat them like filth. Pay them so less that there is no way whatsoever for them to move into the next strata of society. Why?
Because if we do, then who will do all these menial jobs for us? We can’t think of cleaning our own toilets ourselves. We need them to remain at the bottom of society so that we can exploit them. We make it extremely hard for them to get a better life. The odds of them managing to break our shackles and get a better is close to none. In extremely rare cases, their children manage to excel academically and that leads to a boost in their lifestyle. That too rides on the back of extraordinary hard work and determination of the entire family. For a bright kid to excel in a lower class household is a million times harder than one with the means.
Not only do we keep them financially static, but we also keep them resigned to their fate. We don’t encourage them to aspire. To look for a better life. Not that it will help immediately without the money, but if their minds are atleast free of the shckles, then there can be some hope for the future generations. But no! We are content in allowing them to retain their backward mindset as this suits our needs the best.
This is a good example of narrow mindedness because who are we kidding? We as a middle class, are treated in the same way by the upper class and we don’t like it. Such hypocrites we are!
Imagine(if you are actually not) from an upper class family owning companies and businesses. Wouldn’t you like your working class(middle class) to remain stuck at the same level so that they could keep working for you? Wouldn’t you feel threatened if too many of them started breaking into your ranks? Who would do the skilled labour for you then? That’s why you create an elaborate hoax because a simple one wont keep them down as easily as the lowest class. You make them slog extra hard in a meritocratic environment where their life’s main goal is to work for you. Only you realise this and generation upon generation of bright professionals keep working for you because you make it look like they are working for themselves. In the same way that we middle class people make the poor feel like they are working for themselves when they clearly are not.
We dole out miniscule amounts of cash to servants for their hard work. Why? Not because we can’t afford to give them better salaries but because that’s the norm in order to keep them in their place. It’s a strikingly similar scenario if we move one level up. Where we, as the middle class are the workers and the upper, stinking rich class our masters. The masters hands over enough money for their workers to survive —and enjoy some ‘pleasures’ after spending an entire lifetime in service—and ensures they stay in their place. These small time luxuries for the workers are in no way comparable to the grand life of the czars of todays world. Work hard all your life and enjoy your tiny, microscopic piece of the massively gigantic enormous pie while they greedily take huge chunks of it. No major upliftment because that would reduce their share. The czars lose sight of how much is enough. Take Mukesh Ambani’s residence for instance. ‘Requirements have an entirely different meaning for our maid, us and them. An Ambani wouldn’t want a million other Ambanis come out of his organisation for obvious reasons. Who would work for him then?
Some people do turn into entrepreneurs and their growth stories inspire the rest of us. Lets not forget that’s how the rich czars (or their forefathers) started! Lets give them credit where its due. But truth be told, they are too few and too far in between as we would like for a middle class of our size. The system is not doing its part to encourage entrepreneurship. The reasons could be anything from the rich lobbying to hold on to their piles to a lack of political acumen, but the fact remains that if more of us middle class people aspire to move up the social ladder, we need to have more entrepreneurs amongst us! For this, we need a system in place that encourages such pursuits and not place obstacle after obstacle in their way to test their will power to the hilt.
At the same time, we must learn to treat the lower classes with dignity and try to assist them in whatever way we can to attain a better life because we must not treat them the same way we don’t want to be treated. Our good deeds will come back around and help us in unexpected ways. And even if it doesn’t, isn’t the joy of giving supposed to be the most fulfilling? As much as we’d like to remind super rich czars that, let us not forget that ourselves. Being a hypocrite is despicable.