Thursday, March 15, 2012

Who is the aam aadmi?

After seeing the drama unfolding around the rail budget, the query that is coming to my mind is the identity of the 'aam aadmi'? Who is this aam aadmi? How do we define him? Which section of the social strata does he belong to? Or is the aam aadmi a he or a she? How does he travel? What does he treat? (Aam aadmi = common man)

Is an aam aadmi in Kolkatta equal to the aam aadmi in Mumbai? Is an aam aadmi in a small town in Bihar the same as an aam aadmi in Manipur?
Is there aam aadmi in the naxal hit territories? Do they exist there?

The answer is - There is no aam aadmi in India, but we ourselves. Paradox? Let me explain. We see ourselves as the aam aadmi. Everyone you meet will pretend to be concerned about the aam aadmi, however deep down we feel we 'ARE' the aam aadmi.

You go to the vegetable market to buy vegetables, you see the prices have gone up. You say "How will the aam aadmi survive?" You go to shoppers stop and see a way too expensive watch, then you dont say the same thing. Therein lies the difference. We are all aam aadmi when it comes to necessities, not when it comes to luxuries.

There is no stereotypical aam aadmi. This concept of the common man has been fed to us by economists, political activists and administration. This concept leads to bracketing of the population, which essentially controls the popular mood by directing the ire from their decisions or opinions to the aam aadmi.

Sample, -'Oh you are not ok with the road block, but the considering the aam aadmi's interests we have dug up the road.".
'The rail way hike is rolled back due to the aam aadmi's interests'.

Crap, total crap I say. We should reject this notion of the aam aadmi and say that classify us according to the social / economic / political strata.

Ps - The only common man / aam aadmi I know is the central figure in the cartoon by RK Laxman.


4 comments:

MegaPower said...

Very well written.

suri said...

gud observations

diana's serenity said...

WE do have classifications in terms of "APL", "BPL", and "IAY" i.e. [ABOVE POVERTY LINE], [BELOW POVERTY LINE] and [INDIRA AWAAS YOJNA] and even today's INDIA has three basic classes for demographic classifications for Babugiri plannings.

diana's serenity said...

definately lucidly written, in a reactive manner... Often we see, women haggling with a rickshaw-wala in Delhi or other towns; haggling for payment of Rs.3/- instead of Rs.5/- ; however, the same lady can pay Rs.10,000 - 50,000 extra in a Tanishq showroom and appreciating their hospitality of serving a cold-drink or a cup of coffee........???@@@###