Memory that pains

Kudos to Asish Chattopadhyay for the moving touching letter titled “Memory that pains”(September 9). Undoubtedly class consciousness is still the order of the day. Might not be too front of the face, but definitely in a subtle manner and it gets blatantly exposed in particular situations. I have loads of painful experience in this matter. Citing just a couple. In a birthday party at a restaurant, the maid of the host sat beside the chair of an invited lady during dinner. Later the frustrated lady expressed her intense objection to the “audacity” of the maid! In another instance, a “gentleman”, facing the same situation, remarked to the host — “Do you know what my class is”! Often I wonder what would have happened to these “High class people” if the maids, servants, drivers, garbage cleaners etc indulge in just a week-long strike! In which “lofty” position would these “classic” persons find themselves then!
Class-consciousness is nothing but a curse of humanity. And in which class will we be born lies in the hands of one and only destiny itself. Yet so much audacity and pride! While lecturing at IIM Ahmedabad , Harsh Mander(a former bureaucrat and IIM alumni) said — “Don’t think we are all special. We are here just because we are privileged. Had all people been equally privileged, I would not have been found lecturing from here”! That is he could not have attained such a height! Yes, at the end of the day, it is opportunities which make or break an individual. Yet all these rubbish heartless talks of “intellect” “brilliance” and “class”! Only when a classless society gets born with all sectors of the society getting equal respect honour and acknowledgement (if not equal opportunities), only then can the society afford to call itself civilized and enlightened.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE
Kolkata, India

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