Of Vellas and Our Times by Kusum Choppra SignUp
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Of Vellas and Our Times
by Kusum Choppra Bookmark and Share

India has always had “Vellas”, those who have nothing to do except timepass; our record for employment was sad in those early days when agriculture was the major employer. That’s why cattle rearing and handloom weaving was a big boon. But Vellas existed even then.

Now times have changed; we’re heading up to the higher slots of the industrial table. But we still have Vellas…. those young/ old men with nothing to do except gossip, candidates for indoctrination, ripe for mischief. Now the suggestions that they are paid to do that?

What do Vellas do? They opine loudly on things they know nothing of, just enough to make headlines and mischief. Those men who thrashed the Dalit boys at Una … with something productive to do, would they have spent the better part of a day thrashing 4 half starved humans?

Those regularly in the headlines for thrashing someone somewhere, killing policemen, hit and run butchers, petty crimes, theft, eve teasing … would they do that if they had constructive jobs? The anti-Romeo gangs and rapists, whose pants come down so easily for gangrape? Is that their version of Bharatiya Sanskar?
Just a minute.. I cant seem to remember the names of the mythological gangrapists. Who were they?

The desperation in the world of Vellas is spiraling in our times. Inevitable? Ever since cash went out of fashion late last year, cash economies are floundering. Units paying cash daily or weekly closed down by the thousands. To enter the virtual money world, one needs to have a bank account and/or a debit card and/or a Paytm compliant phone that does not come in the 6-1200/- that labor had invested in their basic mobiles. Had adequate numbers of mobiles had been stocked in advance?
Meanwhile, so many new Vellas are ripe for indoctrination… trishuls have come back into fashion.

Now there are the Vellis too. In the inner city warrens of every small and big city, women combine home duties with commercial production to feed their kids; to protect the so-fragile male ego, they smile slyly when Hubby dear tells surveyors “Hamare ghar ki auratein kaam nahin karti”. They continue to roll out agarbattis, candles, envelopes, embroidery/crochet, cloth bags, pillow covers, petticoats, cheap baby dresses, blouses, fashion wear etc. for cash.

When the job markets dry up, so does demand and orders … long enough to make an impact… indoctrination … Vellis now land up at rallies and courts demanding arrested goondas be released, at other places as obstructions, to make noise, what have you.

Soon another set of elections will offer lucrative temporary jobs to the faithful; after that again -- Vellapan.

Would that the new start-up culture would offer more jobs to all those losing jobs with amazing rapidity in this Brave New World; or the powers-that-be would plan labor intensive enterprises and factories, along with schools to train our Vellas to work in those!

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09-Jul-2017
More by :  Kusum Choppra
 
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