The working class identity crisis

A tragedy of the Indian middle class is that the software engineer thinks he is closer to the millionaire capitalist than he is to the labourer. This is sad because the software engineer IS a labourer. His fate is tied to the labour “reforms” that he thinks are only for “them”.

Of course, the reason behind this is the aspirational nature of the middle-class. They’re always looking to rise up in life and society. So the rich guy represents what they want to be and the poor labourer represents the place they came from and never want to go back to.

In the process however, they become advocates of those who routinely prey on them and their dreams and they become the oppressors of those whose hard work makes it possible for them to rise up in life.

The system of course feeds this illusion, telling the employed class that they are a class apart from the people in dirty clothes working outside. The working class tells its children they will become labourers if they don’t study when in fact, the whole point of those studies is that one day they may become labourers. Labourers in air-conditioned offices instead of hot dirt, but labourers nevertheless.

The children learn to speak of poor people with derision and the end result is that when they see on TV the sight of migrant labourers walking thousands of kilometres back home without food or money, they either make jokes about it or blame them for what has happened to them. They fail to see that the class this is happening to is the class they belong to.

The average “employee” in an IT job (or any job) is a labourer. The sooner he realises it the better.