Milk is only for crying babies

Babies cry for various reasons, including the craving to get attention. The idiom The crying baby gets the milk has its modern version, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The message in these two versions of the idiom is that the most noticeable (or loudest) problems are the ones most likely to get attention. Mysuru has just experienced that message in the wake of well-timed eight-day brooms down action by more than 2,000 civic workers of MCC resulting in a pile up of garbage all over the city triggering the powers that be in the Karnataka Government to press the panic buttons and deciding to appease the hapless city’s cleaning workforce. Thanks to the exaggerated glorification of non-violent staging of public mass shows across the country during the decades preceding freedom, popularly described as satyagraha (demanding what is just and due), the nation is embroiled in such shows by the aggrieved section pursuing a multitude of causes. To crave for exalted status in society and to seek eradication of inequality on various counts are all-too-familiar human traits, more noticeable in our times.

The phenomenon of inequality everywhere begins with the game of ranking based on specific parameter. In case of students, the parameter is just marks scored in tests and exams. In case of cities vying for top billing for their liveability and cleanliness, authorities have drawn up 36 parameters. The parameter of caste for heightened attention to certain section of populace in country doesn’t need elaboration.

Several agencies are turning their attention to some not-thought-about-before sides to the profiles of countries across the world. Rating the countries for their military power or economic strength has now got enlarged to other aspects such as ease of doing business, safety of women and children, level of human development, number of high-net- worth-individuals and so on. The latest ranking of countries in a new worldwide index released early this week by UK-based Charity Oxfam International’s Commitment to Reducing Inequality has placed India at 147th among 157 countries analysed. The agency’s verdict that if India were to reduce inequality by a third, more than 170 million people in the country would no longer be poor.

While many sections of the land’s population come under the ambit of organised sectors of the economy and are succeeding in accessing milk after crying as it were, the ground to be covered in reducing inequality on a multitude of counts is too large to expect success in foreseeable future. Inequality in society, the badge of the country’s masses, doesn’t see the rest in good light.

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