Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Emperor's New Clothes and the Neo-Indian Bourgeoisie !

The story of the emperor who was paraded naked in public apparently wearing the most exotic and invisible clothes made by two clever weavers was one that fascinated me for all these years after I read its abridged version in my native language Malayalam as a school boy.

The story goes some thing like this:

One day two clever fellows reach the emperor's palace posing as expert weavers of exotic clothes having some special magical qualities. They knew the art of making special clothes which are visible only to competent and intelligent people and not visible to fools. They were so excellent in their oratory skills of salesmanship that the emperor soon desired to have the dress made for him with this magical clothes.

They were appointed as the special royal weavers for making the special royal gown for the emperor and allotted a space in the palace to begin their weaving and tailoring. The clever guys shifted to the place and demanded money, gold and many such things from the palace to carry out their work and all those were duly sanctioned by the palace authorities.

The weavers soon appeared busy weaving and working with their looms and tools. But the palace authorities and the emperor himself could not see any clothes on the machines though they were all kept in action. But none of them dared to tell that lest they be branded as a fool. Instead, all preferred to praise the beauty of the clothe being made !

At last, the weavers declared that the royal gown was ready to be worn by the emperor. The emperor was duly escorted to the dressing room and the weavers acted so cleverly in making the king dress up with their new invisible dress that they supposedly created for him. All the emperor's ministers and officers were in full praise for the new dress that the emperor was supposedly wearing now even while the poor emperor was naked with no clothes on him in reality. The emperor too lacked the courage to raise his doubts in front of all others who were praising the new dress like any thing.

It was time for the emperor to make the royal parade for all his countrymen to see him in this exotic and magical dress ever made in the world.

The crowd too praised the emperor in the new beautiful gown. They talked each other praising the qualities of the new clothes of their emperor.

Then, alas, there was a little boy in the crowd who cried out loudly: ' Look Papa, our king is naked ! '

The story ends there.

The story was originally written by the Danish story writer Charles Christian Anderson as ' the Emperor's New Clothes ' in the early nineteenth century.

Anderson wrote this story to expose the hypocrisy and snobbery that he observed in his own society especially the middle class people who have been classified as the bourgeoisie. [ Let me write it phonetically as boorshwazee hereafter !]

The world has been undergoing various social class changes ever since. This class of people are the most hated ones in the economic theories and doctrines promulgated by Karl Marx and his followers. 

I am not here to give an analysis of the economic or class theories of great philosophers and writers.

The mindset of people who are neither poor nor traditionally rich is a peculiar type. That is the boorshwazee ( actual english pronunciation of bourgeoisie ) mindset. Whether it is in India or elsewhere, this mindset of this middle class is more or less the same. It has been the same for ages !

If you happen to be with this boorshwazee mindset you would exactly react the way the emperor and his courtiers behaved in the Anderson story which I mentioned earlier. You can never gain the courage to tell the truth in public ! Being transformed as a boorshwazee, the first thing you loose is your honesty- honesty to your own inner consciousness ! And of course, the courage to admit the truth openly regardless of what the other boorshwazee might think !

Now let me narrate some typical manners in which the neo-Indian boorshwazee conduct their day to day affairs making their lives a secret mockery for every one including themselves.

Some clever fellows, like the clever weavers in the Anderson story, have been telling them that the so-called new age public schools which extract huge sums of money from them officially and unofficially are the ones which transform the ordinary children to the so called elite class capable of speaking foreign English and such other pseudo mannerisms that are essential for getting admission to the elite class. The clever school business men have easily fooled them to believe all such nonsense that they are ready to sell out all their fortunes for getting their children admitted to such schools, even when the school management represented through  flashy principals or flashy sharp tongued lady teachers might insult them in so many ways ! They perhaps know and understand all these, but have now gained the boorshwazee mindset that they cannot possibly admit that ! 

So the clever 'weavers' of the public school education system keep exploiting them. In cities like the Delhi and its suburbs, these public schools  managed by societies and trusts of 'eminent' boorshwazee, but effectively controlled by shrewd businessmen who are more interested in money making than imparting education to the children of the locality, are effectively used to extract more than half of the household income of the young middle class parents for preparing their child for this kind of 'public school' education. Such looting by these schools have made these young working class parents with recenably good incomes so scared that many of them are not comfortable to have another baby in the household. But whether it is the school management or the parents, the mindset is boorshwazee that none of them can possibly ever admit the truth ! The simple truth that these schools do not impart any worthy education that justify the money they extract ! None of them can possibly raise the question on the money these school managements routinely collect from them as capitation fees, tuition fee and many other such fees. I was surprised to learn that some of these schools clandestinely collect admission fee amounting to the tune of Rs.200,000/- or more for admitting  a child to the nursery (kindergarten ) level class besides taking thousands of rupees as monthly fees !

The looters and the looted both belong to the boorshwazee class of neo-India ! So, if you are one, you would never ever make any hue and cry about this. You might well ridicule me publicly for writing this ! Even when you silently cry within yourself  or willing to share your woes to me privately.

Being a boorshwazee, you would never ever dare to tell your boss, friend or neighbour about any wrong that they knowingly or unknowingly do. Instead, you are likely to praise them always. You do not want to displease any one any time forsaking your comforts and possible advantages.

The boorshwazee always want to be with the majority. So you would like to be with the party in power or the majority of your vicinity who happen to oppose the party in power !

You try to develop a liking to the game of cricket when the majority around you exhibit themselves as cricket fans, even when you like the game of football more. But unfortunately, you fail to recognize the boorshwazee mindset of all others around you which made them fans of cricket like you ! That is the all pervading power of the boorshwazee mindset.

In the government various committees are set up to decide on various issues like award of contracts, framing rules, etc. The most powerful one would be the chairman of such committees. If he or she has some vested interests, he or she could easily make the rest of the committee members agree to his or her wish regardless of any guidelines or rules or statutes that are in vogue. Because, they are all with typical boorshwazee mindset and with that mindset they would be the last one to raise their voices against those in power or against the majority. 

There are several such examples and I do not want to elaborate all those.

My theory about the growth of boorshwazee mindset in any society is this: A developing nation is bound to have a higher percentage of boorswhazee among its population, the percentage would decline once the nation achieves the developed status.

Social evils, inequality and societal problems would be on a rising trend in a developing nation whose boorshwazee percentage also is also rising with the material development.

If you are with the boorswhazee mindset, it would be of great achievement to you if you could consciously take such mental exercises that could help you to  shed your boorshwazee mindset. 

Remember, the lesser percentage of the people with boorshwazee mindset  in the society, the more developed it is ! 

Do not be part of the crowd that would make the rulers of your country parade naked in public just as the emperor of the Anderson story ! 
   

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4 comments:

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    1. Thanks for expressing your views. Best Wishes for venturing to set up the hotel management institute in Eastern India. India needs young men and women trained in managing hospitality !

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  2. Your work in trying to build a new awareness, both in social and spiritual terms is truly commendable. The tragedy of the Indian middle class is that it seeks comfort in the familiar, thereby allowing governments and corporations to take it for a ride. I truly hope that your work will help people wake up to their true realities.

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    1. Thanks. I find your blogs much more informative and useful. We share more or less similar views. Hope those little efforts by people like us make some positive change in our society !

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