Open letter to the Indian Change Seekers

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Dear change seekers,

    In recent weeks you have worked hard to make India a safer place. The recent Delhi gang rape dominated headlines and received world-wide attention, mainly due to your efforts. However, be mindful of certain worrisome negative aspects of this outrage. You may create a lot of noise, but not the desired change. It is important to understand India first.

    India, no matter what your Civics teacher told you, is not an equal country. India is divided into four classes with different levels of power. For simplicity, let us call these classes the Ones, Twos, Threes and Fours (deliberately avoiding upper-lower classification).

    The Ones are our political masters. They control India, primarily through control over land, resources and laws that govern us. They don’t directly own assets, but control the asset owners, the Twos.

    The Twos are our industrialists and capitalists. They help secure and increase the power of the Ones. Business magazines honor them with terms like ‘the dynamic entrepreneurs of a new liberalized India’. While some may deserve such accolades, most don’t. The Ones allow the Twos to become rich through limited competition and tightly regulated approvals. Real estate, mining, infrastructure or most other sectors, no company in India can thrive without support of the political class.

    The next class, the Threes, are people like you and me. We are people with a certain amount of affluence and education, comprising around ten per cent of India’s population. While life is a struggle for many Threes, they do have a basic standard of living. However, the Threes still do not get speedy justice, accountable leaders or a protective police force.

    Notably, Threes have recently acquired a new media power. They are affluent and buy things advertisers want to sell. Hence, the media caters to Threes. The Threes dominate social media too. This power is real and substantial.

    The Delhi gang rape victim was a Three, and the gruesome case made the rest of the Threes feel vulnerable like never before. They wanted the rape to be debated. Hence, for almost a month little else could be discussed in a country of 1.2 billion people. However, in the process, the Threes might have done some damage. For despite the well-intentioned outcry, they inadvertently showed that they care about themselves much more than another huge class, the Fours.

    The Fours are the 90 per cent of the country, people with limited education, abysmal standards of living and little hope for a better future. They are our farmers, slum dwellers, domestic helpers and the hundreds of millions of Indians without proper healthcare, education and infrastructure. They get no debates on TV. People won’t protest for them on India Gate.

    The Threes either shun them, or impose their new-found modern values on them. For example, Fours may see women-men relationships in a regressive way. The Threes, exposed to the latest Western beliefs, will mock them.

    If you noticed the various debates and opinions on the case, the Threes only accepted ideas in line with their own liberal, modern value system. Nobody could dare say anything even slightly alternative or stress on the Indian reality without being ridiculed.

    The Threes found a new power, but used it like the Ones and Twos — for selfserving purposes.

    For will we ever passionately discuss the issues and lend our media power to issues that affect the Fours? Will we go to India Gate to help slum dwellers get proper drinking water, for instance?

    As we alienate the Fours, we leave them open to be exploited by the Ones. The Ones echo the sentiments of the Fours and throw some scraps at them. In return, the Fours ignore the Ones’ misdeeds and bring them back to power. Meanwhile, we Threes keep screaming and watch our own self-created reality show.

    This is no way to create a revolution, or even change. We have to take the Fours along. If we want people to change, we should not mock or deride. Instead listen and understand first and slowly nudge people towards change. Don’t just laugh at anyone who says women should cover up and not venture out at night. Suggest that while this old belief may come from a place of practical reality, this cannot be the primary solution. I am not saying these people are not regressive. However, if you want change, be inclusive.

    India’s poor are a not separate species from us. If the politicians didn’t protect the Twos so much, we could open the economy further, truly liberalize and create a lot of opportunity.

    Open letter to the Indian Change Seekers by The Underage Optimist : Chetan Bhagat's blog-The Times Of India


    Most of us are change seekers of the middle class.

    What do you have to say to this open letter?
    parijataka and Dovah like this.
  3. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

    May 23, 2011
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    Agree to most parts. Good article.

    Edit: Chetan Bahagat. :shocked:
  4. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

    Oct 15, 2011
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    Most of us have forgotten about the `type` IV Indian that Chetan Bhagat mentions - the one who speaks in Hindi/Telugu/Marathi/Kannada/Bangali etc etc and who is left out of the mainstream except when he is remembered occassionally by Type I at election time or by Type II when he gets in the way of urban or industrial expansion plans when he/she might be evicted unceremoniously from land their ancestors might hv lived on for generations or by Type III whose servant class they belong to.
    panduranghari and Tolaha like this.
  5. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2011
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    Ah, Chetan Bhagat the creame de la creame. He himself belongs to No. 2

    A vociferous orator. His ability of public speaking is only enviable, which his quite visible in the type of stories he writes.

    Too many points debate in this particular article.

    Seems he still maintains the ability to hog the lime light as and when.
  6. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2011
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    Silly and stupid article.

    1) Protection against rape is self serving?

    2) What is the guarantee that the same might not occur to 1,2,4.

    3) From time immemorial it has been happening to 4's.

    4) 90% of population belongs to 4's? Highly inaccurate numbers. Less than 50 %, belongs to that category.

    5) So 3's should help 4's. I hope he would have heard of many NGO's. Many people donate clothes on Diwali, instead of spending on crackers or self indulgence.
    Has he heard of many3's sponsoring the education of children?

    Finally, instead of just talking, what the hell has he done.
    All his books are based on 3's, why not write a book on 4's.
    In fact, Vikas Swarop has done a better job of portrayal of 4's, threough his book Q&A (which was later made as Slumdog Millionaire)


    Seems like a lot of hot air.

    Chetan has to stop talking ( and writing) and start doing.
    panduranghari, Raj30 and Tolaha like this.
  7. Sukerchakia

    Sukerchakia Regular Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    I think the piece makes a lot of sense. True, Bhagat end up making an a$$ of himself whenever he moves towards serious issues. Like his books, his competency is writing on light and fluffy material in a light and fluffy style.

    Maybe he isn't write about the percentages, but the four categories of Indian are pretty much accurate. The 4th category isnt defined just an economic basis, but social and geographic too. Most of the protests against the recent incident were restricted to urban areas and hardly any from rural areas. The urbanites were unhappy because something like this could happen to someone like them - educated, upwardly mobile etc. But much more brutality is faced by the 4th group in villages and slums which seldom gets the urban middle class protesting towards India gate.

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