How about strike on the issue of, “Increase compensation for death, bodily injuries & loss of property”.

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Sipping his morning tea, Ramlal, was absorbed in front page headline that read, “Police shot dead 34 striking workers. The strike was illegal but workers were striking peacefully, from last 45 days. Men were shot & women were lathee-charged”

‘This is absolutely illogical. No work for 45 days is in itself violent. Obviously neither industry owner, nor administration or police could stay idle for any long. Someone had to break the status-quo. 2-3 days of peaceful protest is bearable but how can anyone expect peace if peaceful strike continues for 45 days?’ Ramlal ‘the capitalist’ contemplated.

Spare a thought for poor police force; positioned 24X7 at strike site for 45 days waiting for order from superiors. Good that finally good sense prevailed & boring peaceful in-action was replaced by exhilarating violent action.

State announced compensation for death, bodily injuries & loss of property. State’s perfect ‘balancing act’. After-all, state has been acting as a broker for Ramlal, “the capitalist” by forcing workers to adhere to Ramlal’s schedule.

It can be a matter of great inquisitiveness for some that how does State decides how much damage there is to make up for in case of death, bodily injuries etc; like it is a matter of great disappointment for Kajri (wife of a striking worker who only managed to get minor bodily injuries) that she will only be getting 10% of what Rani is going to get (Rani lost her ‘marad’, husband in police firing). Kajri has no qualms about being extremely upset with her husband who couldn’t find live police bullet.

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Brilliant; State has successfully boosted the morale of people to start trading life for compensation.

Look at the irony. We (common people) can’t (anymore) ask for better working conditions, better wages, food, shelter, justice but can request to increase the compensation for death. How about strike on the issue of, “Increase compensation for death, bodily injuries & loss of property”.

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Now that was the rarest of rare moment of agreement. I will cherish that moment whole my life

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This conversation is between two intelligent gentlemen

“Report says Indian Army has crossed the Line of control and is marching inwards in enemy territory”

“Humm, I have heard. They say it is important strategically & is a fitting reply”

“Holy shit! What is the point in crossing LOC here? We should have done this in J&K where they are doing it. This is no fitting reply”

“Correct! We should have crossed LOC in J&K”

“But let me tell you even this is going to put pressure on them. They will have to concentrate their efforts here now. That’s in our interest”

“Correct. I think crossing LOC here was a good decision”

“Good decision, right decision. Do you even understand what it means? Crossing LOC openly means “total War””

“Correct this actually means total war”

“But let me tell you whosoever says we are on offensive is wrong. We just responded. We didn’t start this”

“Correct, we are just replying to safeguard our interest”

“But let me tell you world is watching. You can’t fool the world by calling it a reaction to safeguard our interest”

“Correct world is watching. Even someone from UN has also said something on this”

“But why should we even worry about what the world is saying. We are an independent country. We know our interests”

“Correct, we know what’s good for us”

The one who is over and over again trying to reach consensus is me. I have no interest in arguing with him. I just try to reach an agreement. But he never lets me reach a consensus. He never lets anyone to reach a consensus. Just about when there seems to be some hope of consensus he rakes up something else to disturb equilibrium. He is neither happy in consensus nor without consensus. I hate arguing.

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So he looked at me. I kept quite. He started looking in the opposite direction. He mumbled, “What complete gibberish; dishonest” I am sure by now he was getting angry, “I will see you all”, “I don’t care, I give it damm!” he then gasped, “what hard luck, look what is happening” & then in mother-tongue, “hans chugega danna tunka Kauva moti khayega”. He then in utter hopelessness leaves the scene.

But it’s not funny. It’s quite serious. He is a kind that is sure that the whole universe is conspiring against him. He is the only one right & everyone else is wrong. This is a very scary state to be in. Because once you are in this state you want everyone to agree to what you are saying. But once devoid hatred, disgust creeps in.

This man is fighting against the whole world. But he can’t fight with the whole world. So he needs a representative. Like soldiers of both sides are representatives of their respective countries, I am world’s representative for him. When he argues with me he argues with the world at large, he rubbishes me means he rubbishes the world, his dismissing my thought is dismissing world’s view.

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He looks out for me daily & if he doesn’t find me for days at stretch he gets puzzled, completely confused. The other day he started by saying

“Corruption is widespread”

“Correct corruption is everywhere”

“But let me tell you, people unnecessarily makes hue and cry. At times it’s a little too much. It’s not that everyone is corrupt.  It’s all media projection these days”

“Correct, even I think at times everyone unnecessarily make hue and cry”

“But tell me why would public or for that matter media make such hue and cry without reason? Corruption is indeed widespread; otherwise a non-issue can’t become a serious issue. What do you think public is mad?”

“Correct Government departments and officials are corrupt”

“Why blame them when it is us who propagate bribery?”

“Correct, JANTA HI PAISE DETI HAI”

“But tell me do we have an option. Who will do our work if we will not offer bribe?”

His built is stout, he works in some private firm, is fairly junior in ranking, is always tense, is always in a thinking mode, in feared during lunchtime by all groups. He hates his workplace, his colleagues, and his boss. He lives in a rented accommodation and is always in argument with his landlord. I think he hates his landlord because he owns the property. He is unhappy with Municipal Corporation, unhappy with sanitary condition, unhappy with mosquito breeding.

I really don’t know why he is the way he is. But his condition is extremely serious. But every cloud has a silver lining. I had a rare incident of agreement with him. That day he was unhappy about not being able to clear a job interview. We met. We spoke

He said, “I got rejected”

I was scared that he might end up blaming me for his rejection. But I gathered immense courage and said, “These days’ job interviews are generally fixed. There is so much bias and prejudice”

“& eligible people suffer”

“Correct, worse that non-deserving generally gets through”

“& that’s the reason that quality of work has dipped”

“Correct, I would say there is no quality at all”

& he said “even I think so”

Now that was the rarest of rare moment of agreement. I will cherish that moment whole my life

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