On the Shoulders of Subordinates

6 Comments


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.

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6 thoughts on “On the Shoulders of Subordinates

  1. Indeed…..and how does one break this constant chain of unprofessional behavior?

    One looks at one’s leaders…we have congressmen swearing by whatever Sonia says or doesn’t say, and AIADMK cronies prostrating to Jayalalitha, and so on……….do we expect any change in something as ingrained in the system as this?

    Excellent post.

  2. Just grabbed a copy of the Indian Express North American edition at a grocery store.

    Page 4 carries the photograph with the following caption – Joint Commissioner of Police K.Kumaraswamy being carried by a constable in flooded Vadodara. Reacting to the picture DGP AK Bhargav has asked Kumaraswamy for a written explanation. Home Minister Amit Shah said action will be taken.

    What happens next is a foregone conclusion.
    Babudom it is and will continue to thrive.

  3. Strong statements about the greatness of India, or lack thereof, should not be made lightly!
    Cannot vouch for the truth of this as I did not find the original news nor the follow-up from Indian Express. However, this is worth consideration.

    http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2005/07/page/2/
    Update : Harsh Says … “there is a report of correction to above from Indian Express of 15 July 2005. It says he was on work for last 17 hours at that time and is having a permanent injury in his leg from a bullet 10 years back”. Thanks Harsh for the update.

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