A picture that I got on a forward. Not that I take forwards seriously but this picture just deserves to be seen. According to the forward, this is
a Joint Commissioner of Police being carried by a constable in Vadodara.
Now whether the man on the shoulders is actually a JCP in Vadodara I cannot vouch for. (because an email forward is the worst kind of news source—-okay not the worst—that is reserved for TOI)
However, what is undisputable is that that here is a man, who by dint of his higher office, will not deign to wade through thigh-deep waters . In order to keep his trousers dry, another human being (a lowly constable) ,like a beast of burden, has to bear the mighty officer of the law on his shoulders.
And this is considered to be “acceptable behavior”—one of the perks of being in a “high position”—the privilege of dehumanizing your underlings.
I have seen Homeguards in Calcutta cooking, wiping floors and performing other menial work for their superiors.
I know of professors in India’s best universities who send their PhD students to do their household groceries.
Now look at the picture again. Feeling bad for the constable? Don’t be. Because as soon as he puts down his superior, he will be wielding the same kind of authority on the people unfortunate enough to be below him in the pecking order. In other words, the common people of India.
Similarly the guy mounted on the shoulder will also be humiliatingly engaged in escorting the daughter of some politician to her examination. (Laloo Yadav’s daughter had an exam posse consisting of IAS officers).
And so the system continues —a food chain of unprofessional behavior where each layer of the foodchain pays forwards (downwards) the indignities heaped upon them by their bosses.