Thursday, April 14, 2011

What’s in it for me?

It may seem churlish and unfeeling to cite the following two examples that illustrate Middle India’s persistently pathological sense of entitlement. Item #1: 5 members of the family of a SAIL employee who died in 1994 took poison because the Bhilai plant refused to give a job to his son. Item #2: Arunima Sinha, an up-and-coming volleyball player, lost her leg in a chain-snatching incidence on a train in UP. The Sports Ministry offered her Rs.25000/- as interim compensation, Rs 2 lakhs for hospital expenses and a job in railways – and still face the wrath of the athlete as well as media. What I find astonishing in the first instance is that the SAIL ex-employee’s family – which till date has not vacated the government premises to which he was entitled as a staff member – feels also entitled to continued employment of at least one family member by the steel giant. In the second instance, I find it equally flabbergasting that the victim holds the railways and probably both the Government of India and the UP Government responsible for her sorry plight. If a chain of responsibility must be traced, I would say the fault lies principally with the goldsmith who made and sold the gold chain she was wearing and with her for buying it and flaunting it in a manner that tempted the thieves to snatch it. If it comes to that, she need not have resisted the chain snatchers. A limb is any time more precious than a gold chain. Passing the buck and pointing fingers at others ought to stop.