vex, lie and lose

In the land of the downtrodden and the illiterate, all is not as it should be. One would think that anyone who gives jobs to people considered unemployable, works towards containing drop out rates with success and cares for the differently abled should be welcomed with open arms..

Well that is not quite the way it works. A pack of hungry and almost desperate wolves lurks at every corner waiting for the slightest chance to attack. In a normal environment rude behaviour, personal slander and unwarranted physical attack of another would justify termination of services without compensation. We learnt a year back that, that was not the case. No matter what you did, and how you did it, no matter how many lawyers you consulted and papers you got signed, you were still open to attack as in this dark world there were unwritten laws that got amended and modified to suit any situation.

But what is even more worrying is the ease with which simple people get manipulated and pushed to act in ways that defy all reason. When the behaviour of one of our staff members warranted at least a temporary suspension, no matter how we tried to explain the situation, it is the roaming wolves who got the last word.

The wolves in question are petty politicos and shady unions waiting either to be fed as they are by factory owners who defy all laws and get away with murder, or to pounce on those who are honest, righteous and law abiding and particularly on those who are trying to make a difference and eroding their vote banks.

So in a jiffy your are faced with a letter packed with incredible lies, and with a visit from a labour inspector and a summons to the labour court. The first time it happened we were taken by surprise and vexed and in a hurry to settle matters. This time one is faced with a dilemma as one can see the larger picture and feels a little saddened at the way our staff is being used.
We could stand our ground and we know that after a few appearances the matter is likely to be set aside. Even if it is not we all now how our lower courts work. If we settle with the person a large chunk of the settlement will be taken by the unions and others. The sad part is that we had asked our staff to wait for a couple of months and would have found another option for her. Now things being as they are, one has to tread carefully.

The reason for this post is not to recount a simple incident, but to view it in a larger context. First of all it vindicates the stand that powers that be are not in favour of seeing education percolate to the lower strata of society as most of their 'issues' will come to nought once people comprehend the sinister game plans. But more than that it shows how easily people can be manipulated and how easily the carefully nurtured divisive elements of our society are used, be it caste or creed, state of origin or economic profile.

Many will say it is a lost cause, and frankly at moments like this even a die hard optimist like me wavers a little. But mercifully these flitter away as many success stories flash by. Change is slow but it is there. It is your staying power that is put to test. Over the years base accusations that sent me flying seem to have lost their effect and what keeps one going is the fact that even one person changed is a success.

To say that one does not feel alone and lost at times like these would be an untruth, but to give up would be letting one's self down.