Sunday, January 18, 2009

Aam Admi -- Are we not too- I ask the Media!!

A billion in UK, a Billion is a Million million meaning 12 zeros after 1. But Americans known to shorten english words have also shortened this number. For them it is Thousand Million or 9 zeros after 1. Now I am not sure which we Indian Scientists and Economists use and this becomes all the more confusing when we insert our own unit The Crore, which is 10 million or 7 zeros after 1. So let us just keep to the full number.

As per the last Census (2004-- if anybody has later one pls tell me) says Indian Population total was 1,065,070,607 or 106 crores. In 2004, an estimated 250 million (300 in 2006) people are below the poverty line (BPL) and approximately 75 per cent of them were in the rural areas. Allow for increase till date. This makes it 25% of the total population.

[The BPL is defined as an earning of Rs. 300/- per month. Even here the Govt tried to play recently by changing the definition.. i.e. reducing the amount so that no. of people BPL get reduced! IMAGINE!!)

I do not think they are the "Aam Admi" the media is referring too. Because in any case these poor people are "dying" every day strike or no strike, terrorist attack or no terrist attack, Congress or BJP or Mayavati or Amar Singh, INDO-US ties or Indo-Pak war, China occupying parts of Arunachal Pradesh or Karunanidhi asking PM Monmohan Singh to intervene in Sri Lanka on behalf of the Tamilians.. These people are in any case never looked after and are only worried every day when the sun is yet to rise, that they have to wake up before sunrise and the women folk will trudge miles to get pails of drinking water and men will go to the fields to till to farm and have only one worry in their daily life. whether they will get their two rotis. Certainly these are not Aam Admis!!!! Are they?

Then take out the Utterly Dirty Rich people. the Sharukhs, the Amitabhs, The Sanjay Dutts, the Mayavatis, the Mallyas, the Amabanis, whose lives are in anyway never affected come flood or Tsunami or Stikes or Terrorists (till recently). If the trucks are not running and their kitchens go dry (which they do not, because they have kitchens the size of halls of our own houses) they can just go to London and have breakfast, then do a bit of sight seeing and just drop by at Paris to have dinner.. and come back the next day.. No no I am sure Media do not call them the AAM ADMI.. If they do then their TRPs will drop.

Then who are the AAM Admis? The Ministers? noo.how can they be.. they are having power, they have money, they have the goondas, they have the police, they have the gullible public also with them to vote them every time back to power.. So when they have all this how can their lives be affected? Nahh. they too are not Aam Admis!!

Then the Babus? Haha! Have you ever seen how they flaunt their red lights and we have to give them way in traffic jams? Have you ever entered one of those hallowed IAS Officers' Messes built on Taxpayers' money during a Cricket Match? pls do .. you will find a huge Plasma TV Screen in the restaurant or whatever it is called and the babus relaxing away on a working day with subsidised Pina Coladas..I heard even the IPS officers are not allwed membeership to these clubs and they have to maintain separate ones. Ministers may come and go but the Babus remain forever.. after all they need time to retire.. . They are the ones who run the show in this Huge Country.. so how can they be AAM Admi? Can king be a subject too?

Friends what remains then? Guess? Why do you think all the western business groups are coming to India? To sell their products and services. But why? Because we have a huge middle class. Our Middle Class is so large in numbers that we are an attractive proposition for those who are in dried out markets out in the Western World. Here in India we have a large market because of the huge Middle class segment. I will talk on what Middle Class means as per the Economists and Statisticians at a different post (will be linked here too). But for my argument wrt "Who is Aam Admi" I say the middle class are the Aam Admis.. those who are affected by everything that happens around us, from strikes to terrorist attacks, from VIP Traffic through the Delhi Roads making them stop their cars and bikes wasting their valuable time, to paying high taxes through their noses, from dying in the hands of Ajmals of this world at a Mumbai Railway Station to dying in heat strokes in the Hot Delhi roads, from waiting in queues in crowded Hospitals (Govt and Private alike) to jostling among themselves on roads, buses, queues, airport terminals, railway platforms, markets, malls.

This is the Middle Class. The Middle class who they need to make the rich richer by buying their products and watching them dance (in Films) to voting them to Power to just being there. These are the MIDDLE class. These are the subjects of the Rulers. If the Middle Class was not there then who will the Rulers rule? THESE are the AAM ADMIs that the Media was portraying..

But in their eagerness to get TRP ratings, when they were shrieking their voices out they forgot that we 55,000 too make up a part of the same Middle Class-the same "Aam Admi"- because we too face the same problems day in day out all over India. They forgot that the fight is not between Oil Sector Officers and the Aam Admi but between Aam Admis and the Rulers!!

Media talked of "Aam Admi" Suffering due to Our Oil Sector Srike. But little did they realise that we are "Aam Admi" too. And we too have suffered for 12 years of crying at the wooden chunks, who sit in the Parliament and the Secretariats. Wooden because there was no response at all. Media forgot that after we suffered for 12 years, they have now inflicted further pain on our familes too by their Hitlerian Style of handling the Situation. What harm would it have made if Respected Prime Minsiter had just met the leaders for 10 mts? I am sure that OSOA would have called off the Strike.. I know they were breaking down.. things would have settled down and we would have gone back waiting for the GOM report and another Strike would not have come.

But what is the lesson that needed to be taught to us? I will talk on this aspect later. You cannot break the morale of 55,000 officers and more (considering all PSUs) like this and expect Efficiency, Quality, Service at the same time. This will be discussed in subsequent posts.

Here I will now Thank TNN, for showing India that we too are the Aam Admis and we too are suffering and not just we but our families.

So I thank Sri Sanjay Dutta of Times News Nework (TNN)for bringing out the human angle of our struggle too in the following news item of his on 14th January 2009 in Times of India, Delhi Edition as below and also for giving correct facts of oil sector salaries. When you have sent so many mails asking media to apologise I suggest you all at least send Thank you mails to him (and also Lok Sabha TV) for their balanced reporting Styles.

Shantanu Das

Oil Sector Families Suffer- TOI 14th Jan 2009

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