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The migrant workers aren’t a ‘burden’ but rather they are the ‘housewife’ that our economy was once in love with and married.
“All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity.” – Martin Luther King
‘Dignity’ is a wonderful word that been rendered powerless in the coming of COVID-19 pandemic, exposing the loopholes in our systems. But if you are reading this on your smart phone from the safety of your space, then what I am about to say might not concern you at a personal level─ just like me─ but it should concern all of us, at a human level.
Thousands of people aka “Migrant workers” walked home, on their feet with their sleepy, famished and exhausted children on their shoulders, improvised cots and even on suitcases. In some parallel world, such images of helpless migrants would have invoked empathy and probably even caused some uproar at the total failure of administrations, if not systemic changes. But that can only happen in the parallel universe, right?
Photo by Chitto Cancio on Unsplash
I have seen many argue, saying “migrant workers” are nothing but a “burden” on the economy. The dictionary meaning of ‘burden’ is a heavy load. How ironical it is that we have started calling the group that has been carrying their heavy loads by themselves a ‘burden’. The group of individuals who carry our burdens at construction sites, at warehouses, and all other places to accomplish tasks we have deemed too inconsequential are now being called a ‘burden’.
These ‘burdens’ are the ones who make the roads we walk on, the flyovers we cross on our ways to offices , even carry across the fancy foods we eat or order. Also, if you haven’t already noticed, we have only been calling the away-from-home disenfranchised workers as ‘migrant worker’ during the pandemic and not the IT professionals or the white collars who are working away in a different city. Can it be that it’s easier for us to think of the powerful as our own than the poor?
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels
Here is my theory. The migrant workers aren’t a ‘burden’ but rather they are the ‘housewife’ that our economy was once in love with and married. Let’s call economy the Groom and the workers the Bride for no apparent reason.
If you must know, theirs was an inter-caste love marriage that happened in 1923 and the bride happened to be from ‘not the upper’ caste. The groom was young, filled with hope and he thought he was a rebel who could defy the old-world order and revolutionize the world with love. But alas, their marriage couldn’t stand the test of time and the groom outgrew his simple bride. The dazzle of money often does that, you see. Now, the groom wants to date the perfect and rich money bosses.
So, now the unfathomable amount of works that the bride has done doesn’t matter because it doesn’t come under a ‘tax bracket’ and hence, can’t be accounted for. Hell, it doesn’t even have a proper register of tasks. So, now the groom wants to get rid of the bride without realizing that his money is because of the skills of the bride. But since he can’t do that easily, he is taking the help of his best mate, Doorknob, to make himself look like the caring soul with no other options.
The name ‘Doorknob’ was chosen at random but he plays a crucial role here. You see what Doorknob does is he shouts a lot and tells people lies so convincingly that they believe them. He played a big role in making the bride look like a ‘useless burden’ on the groom.
Photo by Sylvester DSouza on Unsplash
The reality is that neither the bride nor the groom are to be blamed completely. We, the people, played a big role in their marriage. We attended the wedding, ate at their family functions, rejoiced when they did great. So, now it’s up to us again that we step in and put some sense back into the husband and so that he treats his deserving wife the way she deserves to be treated. More importantly, we need to make sure we stop listening to the Doorknob and believing the lies that he spreads.
The bride deserves to lead a life that allows dignity and be treated with respect but not just by the groom, but by us too. And by bride, I mean the ‘workers’ of our nation.
Photo by Ron Hansen on Unsplash
Image source: Unsplash
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