After countless revolutions, counter revolutions, and of course let us not forget those Springs, too, one would expect the downtrodden to be not so totally stomped on. After all with the likes of Bhaba, Said, Spivac, Kristeva and most of all Obama/Moon/Cameron triumvirate speaking for us, we, the subaltern should be doing better than those who used to keep us bolted to the begrimed floors of our dingy workplaces with only barely enough air to breath. I sincerely believed this and celebrated our state of independence until I – by chance, mind you – had a closer look at the word: independence is actually made of two phrases: in + dependence! Then the scales dropped and a heavenly choir made a fanfare – you would think. After all it is a discovery that is worth a little flourish, you would think. Not a peep from upstairs. But as in Plato’s Republic, once the cave dweller is out of the cave and has become adjusted to the glare of the sun, there is no keeping her back. Like a maniac with a death wish she rushers hither and thither testing her hypothesis: ‘independence’ is actually ‘in dependence’ in camouflage. A capitalist sleight of hand.
Ignorance is bliss. For it is hard to bid goodbye to one’s cherished delusions; much harder than one would imagine. But there you are, the ugly truth: the world is still very much a rich wo/man’s club. An old girls/boys’ network. It is a world that rewards you for being rich:
- You have a Gold Card, more benefits, which include impressing impressionable males and females by flashing it at strategic moments
- You spend more than Rs 25000, the entire bill is slashed by 10%-25%
- You buy bigger packs bulk, save more
- You have a private vehicle then you have a greater access to roadside bargains
- You shop at supermarkets as oppose to a roadside grocery shop or a petti kade, you buy the exact amount you are paying for and they call you, Ma’am and carry your bags to your vehicle, gratis!
- You pay upfront for your electronic appliance, they give you a price slash
- You have a credit card with a six-figure credit ceiling, you get to buy stuff on easy payment schemes interest free – mind you, the interest in most places being a whopping 25% per annum
- You fly frequently, you get frequent fliers benefits – not the housemaids and labourers who fly infrequently
The list goes on. And the tragedy is that those who benefit from these rare moments of capitalist 'generosity', usually don't give two blue hoots about them.