As a follow up to the previous post there was another thought process that was running through mind while half way into the post. The familiarity factor.
Till few years back, the same concept of recruiting lads from local villages, grooming them up so that they can find feet in their own business set up was the norm in another industry - hotels. Most of the Bhavan group of restaurants used to bring in people from the native of the supervisors or the owner so that they would be loyal to the group and also would be flexible in their work. Majority of those kids were abused to say the least and were paid pittance in the name that they are being given job and are taught tricks of trade free of cost. Same applies to all those school kids who for the sake of supporting their families slogged on the provisional stores. But off late that crowd of local faces seems to have all been replaced with people from North east. Makes me wonder if calling all of them as North easterners is also racism. It could be better off than mocking them as chinese or chinkis. But again, its as easy to differentiate someone from Karnataka and Andhra as much as one can identify a Manipuri from Assamese. Then again, what is the reason for the sudden spurt of people who are as alien as any foreigner in this part of the country into a place which has not even an inkling of commanality, be it culturally or language or even life style wise. How come they managed to occupy one of the most coveted work spaces in any city - the kitchen. They are found working in even some road side bajji kadais. How in the world they communicate and manage to convince the store keepers to employ them beats me. Its a lesson worth learning for anyone down and out on the job market. Its akin to a tamilian finding job on a Shanghai meat market. Shucks. I couldn't even think of a decent comparison. Its that weird for me. To make a point clear, i am not against any of them taking up job opportunities here. Nor am i having any intention on being the flag bearer for local jobless people whose jobs are getting "stolen" by these people. The idea behind the post is merely to voice out my thoughts on where have all the local labourers gone!!
India being a country with only a handful of major cities, its no surprise to see people thronging the metros for gaining their livelihood. The very reason why people throng places like Chennai, so far off from their native is ample fact to the accommodating nature of the city and the security which it provides, as against places like Mumbai where the localities take up cudgels against anyone not from their own. Can't blame those people either, when the entire city is bursting at seams unable to cope up with its own people, any person more would only call for trouble. But from the perspective of the people who move from their native in search of job to places so far off as Chennai, is it really worth it? Are their villages so worse off that, they allow themselves to be exploited to the core, at times even risking their life and family in finding job at places, which though claim to be part of the same nation are as alien as any foreign country? They are looked upon with suspect and are often ill treated. Whenever there are news items involving robbery or any malpractice involving the so called "outsiders" people jump on the rest of them and involve in rash activities. These people can never fully merge into the society and the best part is they are well aware of it as well. In an era of suspicion and deceit where in even a familiar local face speaking common tongue is looked upon with fear and doubt, it would only make the case of people from other states even more pathetic.
It doesnt help for the fact that the image about the rest of the country that have been implanted on us since childhood. I grew up hearing that people up North are filthy and are always spitting and spewing paan wherever and whenever they can and one aspect i am sure many of you would also have heard is that they all "smell" as none of take bath regularly. The only way i could get these thoughts dispelled was when my job took me on travel across cities and i saw for myself how wrong those prejudices were. Whenever i read news about how MNS is thrashing up Bihari's and UP waalahs, preventing them from plying autos or running their own business, under the guise that the "outsiders" are stealing the jobs meant for locals, the irony irks me like anything. For a person who is employed for the very reason that some Angrez babu decided to earn more profit by paying less money to get the same job done, there by effectively transferring the work done by his local person and offering it to me, who am i to deny the same happening to a Bihari or Manipuri. We all remember that we are Indians only during cricket matches and war. Rest of the time, ours couldnt be a much divided society. We are worse than Europe, where in at least the borders are clearly demarcated as different countries. In the name of one nation, multiple states, we couldnt treat our labour population any worse. For the sake of cheap labour, we have chased away all the local people and started employing people from other sake, exploiting their poverty for our profit. No wonder its becoming an impossible scenario to find manual labour nowadays to do any physical work and its pretty obvious that the cost of per day labour have shot up.
Its high time people started realizing the structure of our country and probably redefine the concept of India. Does it still make sense to continue with the demarcation based on languages? You do have many documentary evidence to validate ones claim for citizenship of this country. But how does one define a citizen of a state? Should they be born in TN to be called tamilians? Many of my friends whose mother tongue is Telugu and doesnt read or write a word of tamil and who even identify themselves as Telugu people and not tamilians are born and brought up here. Does speaking the local language makes one a localite? My neighbourhood Barotta master from Manipur whose Tamil would put most of us to shame would slightly disagree. Should one have settled for generations in the same place to qualify to be called a localite? If so there should be clear specification as to how many years.
I am sure none of these questions have any direct and correct answers. When so many contradictions and corrections are needed within one single country, wonder how the world would tackle migrant crisis of Syrian proportions!!