A very well articulated piece by Urvashi Butalia about the sense of entitlement that wealthy Indians seem to have. Empathy for those who are below oneself on the economic ladder is an alien concept in India.
One thinks nothing of spending 10,000 Rs at a dinner at Hakkasan, but baulks when the driver asks for a 1000 Rs raise on his 8,000 Rs a month salary. Never mind that the driver will wait till midnight for you to finish your meal and then head home by bus. And return the next morning to make sure that the kids are dropped off to school by 8 AM.
Indiaâ€™s elites have a ferocious sense of entitlement
The studies in the US speak of the â€˜culture of takingâ€™ that comes with privilege. So, for example, the better-off person is more likely to take sweets meant for a child than a less well-off person. If you replace sweets with money, youâ€™ll find this is rampant in India. Funds set aside for development schemes that are supposed to help the poor, are frequently siphoned off by the rich. Land that belongs to the poor â€“ including adivasis â€“ is taken for setting up factories (the Nano plant, for example) without compensation ever being paid.
Why do those who have so much want more? Why do they behave so badly towards their fellow human beings, and why is their behaviour so widely accepted as â€˜naturalâ€™? Perhaps the day is not far off when we, in what are known now as emerging economies, will start to look for answers to these questions.
Full article here.
This is a google cache copy of the article in The Caravan that appeared a few months ago. Our man Arindam has now sued Caravan and Google for over 50 crores in damange. Read below and make up your mind.
How Arindam Chaudhuri made a fortune off the aspirationsâ€”and insecuritiesâ€”of Indiaâ€™s middle classes
A PHENOMENALLY WEALTHY INDIAN who excites hostility and suspicion is an unusual creature, a fish that has managed to muddy the waters it swims in. The glow of admiration lighting up the rich and the successful disperses before it reaches him, hinting that things have gone wrong somewhere. It suggests that beneath the sleek coating of luxury, deep under the sheen of power, there is a failure barely sensed by the man who owns that failure along with his expensive accoutrements. This was Arindam Chaudhuriâ€™s situation when I first met him in 2007. He had achieved great wealth and prominence, partly by projecting an image of himself as wealthy and prominent. Yet somewhere along the way he had also created the opposite effect, whichâ€”in spite of his best effortsâ€”had given him a reputation as a fraud, scamster and Johnny-come-lately.