Recently something happend that forced me to ask myself a question. Question that I thought (till very recently) was answered 60 years ago. The question was: Is India Really Independent?
The incident that forced me to think about this question was as follows:
I attended a meeting that was supposed to fix the rules and regulations for house maids.
Among other things something that struck me the most was: one of the house maid requested to allow them to awail 3 days leave in a month. But the request was turned down saying that 2 days off per month was more than enough! Shocking!
Lets calculate how many days do we (people with white colored jobs) get off in a year.
2 days per week * 4 weeks per month * 12 months = 96 days off (this figure includes only Saturdays and Sundays). Over and above this we get 20 days of paid vacation + 10 days public holidays. Hence the total number of paid leaves = 96 + 20 + 10 = 126 days.
Wow! we are entitled to get 126 days of paid leave in a year while a house maid is not allowed to take 3 days off per month * 12 months = 36 days off in a year! Is this fair?
Recently I had to work for one weekend and at the end of the next week it felt like I was working since ever! And house maids get one day off after 15 days of hard work?
Now someone will say that I am compairing apples with oranges. We have worked so hard to get an IT degree, fought hard to get a well paying job and over and above it we do MENTAL effort which cannot be compaired with PHYSICAL effort that house maids do. And thats the reason we deserve 126 days off in a year!
But I am compelled to ask one question: Are these house maids not humans? As we get tired of the so called "MENTAL" work, would the house maid not get tired of "PHYSICAL" work? Do they not deserve a break?
Has India being Independent helped house maids in any way? Has Independence changed anything in their lives? They still have to work almost like a slave to earn a few pennies!
People will say Government should make rules so that poor people are not exploited. I completely agree to that. But what about us? Why do we need a rule to stop exploiting other Indians? Why cant we think how difficult life is from thier perspective? Or have we become so selfish that we cant see anything other than our own advantage?
I am sorry to say but celebrating Independence day on 15th August and singing "jana gana mana" wont make India independent in the real sense. We need to change and act!