Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The biggest slogan of Indian socialism was Roti Kapda aur Makaan. Nehru and most of his successors followed this mantra and tried to guarantee this to every citizens of the country. It was so inspiring that the ever patriot Bollywood star Manoj Kumar penned, directed and produced a
movie with the same title. Post liberalisation with the opening up of the Indian economy many would have felt that the mantra would be changed but rather the definition has changed.

The concept of Roti has been replaced with burgers at McDonald's, crispy chicken pieces at KFC, coffee in CCD and Barista. Eating at restaurants and food joints is no longer a luxury but has become a weekend ritual for many. There are many people living in the urban areas who are solely surviving on so called 'junk food'. The present generation of Indians are finally munching throughout the day unlike our predecessor who were used to two meals a day and in many cases could not even afford that.

As far as Kapda is concerned all the international brands are here and the textile and the accessories industry is doing brisk business. From Armanis to Milano we are donning everything money can buy. The neighbourhood tailor is running out of business as getting clothes stitched is thought to be a trend of the licence raj era. Men no longer shy away from buying good clothes. Having just one pair of shoes is unthinkable now which was a norm not too long ago. The good old Bata has been pushed to a corner and using its products is considered 'uncool'

Finally the big one shelter or Makaan once considered 'sar chupane ki jagah' (a place to hide your head) today is all about space and style. Retired employees built their house in the post retirement phase and kept themselves engaged. With bank loans every middle aged Indian is buying a shoe box (read Flats) is some corner of a metro. Fitted with the latest gadgets and household equipments we no longer shy away from paying a price for luxury.

Life has indeed changed and people like me who were the last to witness one channel television era have seen the drastic change. The definition of our Roti Kapda Aur Makaan might have changed but happiness still seems to elude us.


Anonymous,  November 19, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

happiness eludes us sure..but y relate it to earthly possessions and lifestyles???are these da yardsticks to measure the degree of happiness??

do ya mean dat two meals a day,dhotis or kurtas and a shanty fr a shelter made people happy..and der modern counterparts are pejorative to happiness??

we have redefined happiness and lost da zest to look for it...dun u think dats da prob modernity has thrust us wid???Happiness now is being superior and more flamboyant as against a content peaceful heart;success now is tramping others as against achieving goals...

Anonymous,  November 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

I gotta add dat..HAPPINESS IS JUST INSTANTANEOUS..sers nthin as sustained happiness
sustained happiness is jus euphemistically called PROSPERITY..

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