Dignity of Labour

Okay, I hope I don’t ruffle anyone’s feathers by this write-up!!!

Our Indians’ Ultra-Nationalism (read Jingoism) when it comes to treating the Indian Army should end. Of course, army/defense is one of the noblest of professions and they should be given their due respect. But so are every other profession out there. The wheel of life doesn’t just turn because of army men, millions of hardworking people contribute equally (and if not more) for our collective wellbeing. Even if I have to go by the logic of soldiers risking their lives to save us, a miner who dwells in even riskier and hazardous places, a sanitation worker who works in some of the most uncomfortable environments without whom we cannot live our normal lives, doctors, healthcare professionals, police all of them are risking their lives no less than a soldier. Are their lives not lives at all? Would society and media respond the same way when they lose their lives performing their duties? Why should only the army get all the praise and unequivocal respect for their sacrifices? Is it not against the “dignity of labor”?

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King Jr.
All Labour that uplifts humanity has dignity.

And coming to Telangana CM KCR giving out 5cr to the deceased martyr (in the clashes with Chinese troops at Galwan valley in Eastern Ladakh on 15th June 2020) family. Honestly, I feel this is a trap to divert all the negativity he has gained in handling the COVID situation. On one hand, the Government of Telangana informed the High Court that they don’t have the financial might to scale-up testing for COVID and on the other hand KCR announces 5Cr (equivalent to 20,000 tests) as if he is the Nizam of Hyderabad. Why do you provide financial assistance where it’s not needed and, not provide one where it’s needed (say buying PPEs, cash handouts for essential service providers).

It is generally believed that no amount of monetary relief is sufficient to compensate for a soldier’s lost life. Then why to provide one, knowing that the martyred soldiers’ family is already financially well off. Is it not for headlines grabbing? It would have been helpful if KCR has provided emotional support to his family and mental help to the poor kid who lost his father at such a young age.

Again, my intention is not to belittle the Indian Army or any soldier’s supreme sacrifice for his nation. All I’m saying is that there’re a lot many unsung heroes out there whose contribution doesn’t even get proper recognition. And the irony of the matter is that these unsung heroes are in need of financial assistance instead of the ones who receive them.

And finally, I would like to rest my case with a small snippet from the book, “Untouchability in Rural India” by Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande, Amita Baviskar

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